Monday, February 11, 2013
Oriakhi capable of more?
By Luke Lapinski
Missouri's loss to Texas A&M last Thursday dropped the Tigers out of the AP Top 25 for the time being. But it also served as a reminder of what Alex Oriakhi can do for his club up front.
The Connecticut transfer led Mizzou with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in that contest, then erupted for a season-high 22 points and 18 rebounds in Saturday's romp over Ole Miss. Not surprisingly, Oriakhi also saw a season-high 33 minutes in that outing. And John Gasaway suggests we could see more dominant efforts like that from the 6-foot-9, 255-pounder if he's given the opportunity.
Oriakhi's 11.1 points per game come in at just No. 4 on the Tigers' roster at the moment. But that's not really due to a decrease in performance. He's seeing 25.1 minutes of playing time per contest -- fifth on the team -- yet is getting to the line more frequently than ever before, and hitting his free throws when he gets there (75 percent). Plus, he's hauling down rebounds pretty consistently and he brings valuable experience to the floor -- especially in March -- as a member of UConn's 2011 championship team.