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.
Report: Kentucky, Carolina, Mizzou Options for Oriakhi
UConn junior power forward Alex Oriakhi has received his official release and is being courted by some big-time programs, according to a report.
Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke and Missouri are all interested in the 6-foot-9 Oriakhi, according to the Connecticut Post. The report says it’s “unlikely” Oriakhi will consider Duke.
UConn is currently banned from the 2013 NCAA Tournament and thus Oriakhi would be immediately eligible and would not have to sit out a season.
The SEC does not permit one-year transfers, and thus Oriakhi would have to obtain a separate waiver in order to transfer to Kentucky, the Post reported.
Missouri joins the SEC next season and Oriakhi and MIssouri point guard Phil Pressey won a national AAU Championship with the Boston Area Basketball Club in 2006.
A key contributor on the 2011 UConn NCAA championship team, Oriakhi never got comfortable playing alongside Andre 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.
Drummond and sophomore wing Jeremy Lamb are both projected as lottery picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, but neither has announced plans.
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.