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.
A parade of coaches has lined up to meet with UConn power forward Alex Oriakhi and his father now that Oriakhi is free to suit up next year.
A junior with one year of eligibility remaining, Oriakhi became eligible after UConn’s appeal to the NCAA was denied Thursday, meaning the school is banned from all postseason competition.
“Ten or so schools will visit the dad,” a source close to Oriakhi told SNY.tv. “There’s no official list and it will likely be a lengthy process.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari met with them Thursday night and Xavier coach Chris Mack meets Friday, Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com reported. A source close to the Xavier staff confirmed the upcoming meeting.
Oriakhi will “definitely visit” Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke and Missouri, Alex Oriakhi Sr. told Kevin Duffy of the Hearst Media Group.
Washington, Ohio State, Kansas, Virginia and Iowa State are also involved. N.C. State is not a viable option because of the uncertainty of C.J. Leslie’s future, a source told SNY.tv.
“He wants to go some place he can start,” the source said.
Oriakhi cannot transfer within the Big East, per league rules, and would need to obtain a waiver to play in the SEC for Kentucky, but reportedly could do so if he pursues a course of study that UConn does not offer.
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.
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.