UConn's Oriakhi Transferring | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / March 28.
  • UConn’s Oriakhi Transferring

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    UConn big man Alex Oriakhi is the first player out the door for the embattled program, and the question now is whether Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond will follow.

    “Alex will transfer because of the NCAA Tournament next year,” Alex Oriakhi Sr. told the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

    The Huskies are currently banned from the 2013 NCAA Tournament because of APR issues.

    The 6-foot-9 Oriakhi hopes to play immediately next season at another school because the NCAA typically grants waivers for players whose eligibility would expire before the program comes off probation.

    A key contributor on the 2011 UConn NCAA championship team, Oriakhi never got comfortable playing alongside Drummond and often became the whipping boy for coach Jim Calhoun. After averaging 9.6 points and 8.7 rebounds in 29.1 minutes as a sophomore, he averaged 6.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes this year.

    “It is going to be difficult, especially for the program next year,” he said following UConn’s loss to Iowa State last Thursday in Louisville. “You know, guys are going to have to make tough decisions on their future.”

    Lamb and Drummond are both potential lottery picks and said they would decide whether to go pro or remain.

    “I’m not thinking about that,” Lamb said when asked if he had a timetable on making a decision. “I’m not trying to think about that right now.”

    Said Drummond: “I’m not worried about that right now. I’m worried about what we gotta do for tomorrow…so I’m not really thinking about that right now.”

    Calhoun, who turns 70 in May, also faces question about his future, although he is under contract until 2014.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    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.