NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: Alex Oriakhi #34 of the Connecticut Huskies dunks against the DePaul Blue Demons during their first round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
UConn will not be eligible to make the NCAA Tournament in 2013 because of sanctions, and now forward Alex Oriakhi is looking for a new school. Oriakhi can transfer and play immediately, and according to Jeff Goodman, all three triangle schools have shown interest in him.
Here's who has reached out to Alex Oriakhi: KY, UNC, Duke, NC St, Fla., Temple, Xavier, UCLA, Mizzou, George Mason, Va Tech, Va., Charlotte.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) March 28, 2012
Because Oriakhi is barred from transferring to another Big East school and because the SEC has a league regulation prohibiting one-year transfers, his most likely landing spot is an ACC school.
CBSSports.com has reported that the Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Wolfpack are among the 13 schools that have expressed an interest in veteran big man, who average 9.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game during UConn’s championship season. His averages dropped to 6.7 points and 4.8 rebounds last season.
NC State's 2013 roster remains unsettled in the frontcourt, and depending how those situations shake out, this move might not make a whole hell of a lot of sense. If Calvin Leslie decides to go pro, then Oriakhi would slide right into a starting spot alongside Richard Howell, pushing DeShawn Painter back to the bench. If Leslie returns, though, the pecking order isn't so clear. And if State adds Amile Jefferson to the incoming class? Not sure how that would sort itself out.
Perhaps this is an indication that the staff has a pretty good idea of what Leslie and Jefferson plan to do. We'll just have to wait and see.