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April 14, 2012

Eye on the Tigers


From the time he decided to leave UCONN, Alex Oriakhi had an eye on Missouri.

"I've always watched Missouri," Oriakhi said. "I was good friends with Matt and Phil (Pressey) and I always thought if I have the chance to play with Phil, then he would be great to work with."

Upon arriving on campus for his official visit to Mizzou, Oriakhi didn't take long to commit to the Tigers.

"I felt it was the place I wanted to go all along," Oriakhi said. "I started talking to Phil and he told me they had a void in the frontcourt. Then, I came here and I felt comfortable with the coaching staff and some of the players."

With that, Oriakhi decided to play his final year of college ball at Missouri. In three years at Connecticut, the 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward averaged 7.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game.

"I think I would fit on any team," Oriakhi said. "I am a defensive oriented guy. I think me and Laurence Bowers will play well together."

With Bowers, Oriakhi should form a formidable frontcourt for Missouri's first season in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers bring back Phil Pressey and Michael Dixon Jr. in the backcourt. They also add transfers Earnest Ross, Keion Bell and Jabari Brown to the mix in Frank Haith's second season on the Mizzou bench.

Oriakhi had already visited Xavier and had Kentucky and North Carolina on his list as well. But his second recruitment has now come to an end.

"I finally get to relax and enjoy my time here at Missouri," he said.

Oriakhi will enroll in summer classes at Missouri in June.

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