Reports out of New York yesterday was that Alex Oriakhi was considering Washington as a potential destination for him to play basketball next year. The well-known recruiting expert, Adam Zagoria, on his blog listed North Carolina, Duke, Washington, and Gonzaga as visit locations.
Zagoria says this about the Oriakhi and Washington situation:
Washington loses Darnell Gant and assistant Raphael Chillious has coached Oriakhi at various Nike events and also on a trip to Brazil before Oriakhi went to UConn.
Oriakhi is considered a special case by the NCAA when it comes to his transfer. He would be able to play immediately for whatever team he chooses due to UCONN being banned from the NCAA tournament in 2013. Therefore, UW is a big possibility with the ability to start immediately, huge minutes, and under a coach (Chillious) he knows and recognizes.
Zagoria goes on to describe why Oriakhi is transferring and what type of production he has had in the past.
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.
It was originally reported by Jeff Goodman of CBS that Oriakhi had been contacted by “Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Florida, Temple, Xavier, UCLA, Mizzou, George Mason, Virginia Tech, Virginia & Charlotte.”
However, it was also rumored that Washington was in that mix too. That Chillious was reaching out to him and hoping to bring him in, to add immediate help in a spot that many Husky fans see as a desperate need. This turned out to be the case as now Zagoria is reporting that Washington has a high likelihood of getting visit from the big man.
Oriaki at 6’9, 240 pounds is a traditional power forward and would immediately help the Huskies. He would add much needed talent on a spot in the roster that no one else plays, at least in the traditional sense of the position. Stay tuned as this transfer plays out.