Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Arsalan Kazemi is the latest player to leave the Rice basketball program, the sixth to be exact.
“There have been more than 450 basketball transfers — a record high — in collegiate athletics over the past year, and unfortunately, Rice is not immune,” Rice AD Rick Greenspan said in a statement. “We take pride in the high graduation rate of our Rice student-athletes, and we’re always sad when a student-athlete leaves without finishing his or her degree, but we wish Arsalan all the best.”
Kazemi, a 6-foot-7 senior who averaged 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds last season, told Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com he is considering six schools — Kentucky, Texas, Oregon, Ohio State, Florida and Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is not an option, a source close to the program told SNY.tv.
“I’m trying to go to a high-major program for my final season,” Kazemi, originally from Iran, told CBSSports. “Those are the schools I’m interested in, but I’ll also consider other schools.”
As CBS reported, Kazemi follows five other transfers out the door — Omar Oraby (USC), Dylan Ennis (Vllanova), Jarelle REischel (Rhode Island), David Chadwick (Valparaiso) and Ahmad Ibrahim (overseas).
“I have no idea [why they left],” senior guard Tamir Jackson of Paterson, N.J., told SNY.tv. “You’ll have to ask them. I’m here to stay and finish out what I started.”
Said head coach Ben Braun: “Last season we had the most wins since 2004-05, we equaled our best Conference USA record, and we had the highest GPA in our history. The team is proud of those accomplishments and is training hard for the coming season.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.