Connecticut Huskies forward Alex Oriakhi is transferring to Missouri, according to a release from Missouri Athletics.
Oriakhi, 6-9 and 240 pounds, started for three years for the Huskies and averaged 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds last year. He averaged 9.6 points and 8.7 rebounds during 2011, when Connecticut won the national championship.
Oriakhi was seeking a team he thought needed him as well as a team with a pass-first point guard, he told CBS Sports. He has a friendship with Missouri guard Phil Pressey, as the two played together for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.
Oriakhi has one year of eligibility remaining. Under normal NCAA transfer rules, he would be required to sit out a year. However, Oriakhi is eligible to play for Missouri immediately because Connecticut is banned from the 2013 NCAA Tournament after several year of below-standard academic progress rates.
"We're very excited to add a talented and proven player like Alex to our program," Haith said in a statement. "Addressing our front court depth has been a major emphasis of ours for this next year, and when you add Alex to a group of newcomers including Stefan Jankovic, Ryan Rosburg and Tony Criswell, we are definitely heading the right direction. Alex is a very hard worker, he's somebody who we expect to fit into our program's culture right away. He will do whatever he's asked to help the team, and he can impact a game any number of ways, whether it's scoring, rebounding or defending," Haith said.
Oriakhi, who won Gatorade High School Player of the Year in New Hampshire, was previously a five-star recruit and a McDonald's All-American.