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UK, UF, MU Reportedly Chasing UConn Transfer Oriakhi

UConn forward Alex Oriakhi has been granted a release from his scholarship and will be allowed to transfer to another program.  In three seasons, Oriakhi has averaged between 5.0 and 9.6 points per game and between 4.8 and 8.7 rebounds per game. 

Stunning numbers?  No.  But a darn solid addition to any team’s interior?  You bet.

That’s why at least three SEC schools are reportedly pursuing the senior-to-be.  The Connecticut Post reports that Kentucky and Missouri — along with North Carolina and Duke — “are among the teams that have contacted Oriakhi.”  ESPN’s Andy Katz reports that Florida is also in the mix for his services.

If UConn remains ineligible for next year’s NCAA Tournament due to NCAA sanctions, Oriakhi can step right in and play immediately for his new school.  UConn should learn of its appeal to play in next season’s tourney within the next 10 days.

Ah, but the SEC has a rule on the books that states any player transferring into the league must have at least two years of eligibility remaining.  Last summer, an additional loophole was closed that had allowed graduate students to transfer into the league for a single season.  (Yes, one-and-dones are okay on the front-ends of their careers, but not on the back-ends.  Go figure.) 

Last summer, Mike Slive said, “The rule is designed for a student-athlete to stay at our school long enough to have the kind of academic experience that we expect our student-athletes to have.  It is not acceptable for a student-athlete to transfer in solely for an athletic experience.”

Apparently the folks at Florida, Kentucky and Missouri believe they can get around that rule with a waiver from the league office.  (Heck, Mizzou officials might not even know about the rule yet… newbies.)

According to The Post, the Tigers might actually have the inside track to landing the 6-9 big man.  Oriakhi played AAU basketball with current Missouri guard Phil Pressey.

How serious is the league’s about its “no one-year transfers” policy?  We’ll find out if Oriakhi tries to move to Gainesville, Lexington or Columbia.

 


3 comments
MoKelly
MoKelly

Maybe Mizzou is counting on the transfer happening before July 1 and its official date to join the SEC. Would that loophole work? Would the other SEC schools be a tad upset?

sfprman
sfprman

 @MoKelly Why would  the other schools be upset?  It's a reality.   And if he enrolls in summer school in June, it's at a Big XII school (at least until July). And given the grief Mizzou has received from the left behinds in kansas, etc, and the $$$$ they had to pay, it seems like a deserved bonus.  Plus, Mizzou needs him more (clearly you can;t win NCAA games w/o more bigs...grrrr)

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

MoKelly...

 

An interesting thought, but I don't think that angle would fly.

 

But there's a reason these schools are chasing.  They must believe they can somehow convince the league office to grant a waiver in this case.  I'm just not sure why Oriakhi's case would be different from someone else's.

 

Thanks,

John

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  1. News | MrSEC says:

    [...] appeal — Oriakhi could play his senior season immediately without sitting out a year.However, as we also told you today, the SEC has a policy in place that is designed to prevent schools from simply bringing in [...]



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