Oriakhi Making Single Season at Missouri Count

4 years 3 months 6 days ago March 19, 2013 Mar 19, 2013 Tuesday, March 19 2013 Tuesday, March 19, 2013 11:43:20 PM CDT in Tiger Talk
By: Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri coach Frank Haith kept encouraging Alex Oriakhi, telling them he had more to give. The senior center has been playing like there's no tomorrow for a while now.

"Every day I keep telling myself my days are numbered, so I keep reminding myself, 'How do you want to be remembered?'" Oriakhi said. "And I think about that every day, that one game and you're done. All I know is I'm going to leave it all out there on the floor."

The 6-foot-9, 255-pound Oriakhi is averaging close to a double-double and shooting a career best 63 percent for Missouri (23-10), which faces Colorado State (25-8) in the NCAA tournament on Thursday in Lexington, Ky. He missed just one of 14 shots in two SEC tournament games.

He's the first Missouri player to average eight or more and shoot 70 percent-plus from the free throw line since Doug Smith in 1990-91.

"Man, he's just bought in," Haith said. "I can say those things but just look at his numbers, they speak for themselves what the young man's done over the last half of the year."

Missouri needs Oriakhi to step up in a matchup of two of the NCAA's best rebounding teams. Colton Iverson and Pierce Hornung are each averaging nearly 10 boards for Colorado State, which earned an at-large bid after losing in the Mountain West semifinals. Missouri has outrebounded all but six opponents, with Laurence Bowers averaging six and reserves Earnest Ross and Tony Criswell adding about five apiece.

"I think it's going to be a great test for us as far as rebounding," Oriakhi said. "Like I've always said, rebounding comes down to heart and will, so it's going to test us."

Oriakhi played on the 2011 Connecticut national championship team and transferred after the Huskies went on NCAA probation, joining former AAU teammate Phil Pressey and choosing Missouri over Kentucky. He's made his lone season count for the Tigers, throwing his weight around on the court and quickly becoming a leader off it.

"Mizzou, it's definitely been special to me. I feel like I've been going here for four years," Oriakhi said. "As far as the coaching, the fans, it's definitely been a great experience and I knew I made the right choice when I committed."

Oriakhi is part of one of the most productive transfer classes in the country, with Haith opting to bring in experienced players after losing stalwarts Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Ricardo Ratliffe.

Pressey is the lone holdover from last season's 30-win team, given Bowers missed the entire season with a knee injury. The transfers had an additional hole to fill when senior guard Michael Dixon, among the nation's best sixth men last year, left after two sexual assault claims became public.

Oriakhi has more than done his part to fill the void.

"Honestly, I think Alex has really taken a big part of our leadership as the year's gone on," Haith said. "I think he's a guy that's really been our vocal guy that has been more playing with a sense of urgency. Not to say anything about Laurence or Phil, but I think Alex's really stepped up. He's a guy that I think we're relying on to be that locker room guy."

Over time, Haith also convinced Oriakhi he is a scorer.

"You hear him talking about his confidence, that's all it is with Alex," Haith said. "He's a big, strong kid that has good hands and can finish around the basket. He should play like that, a guy that knows he can score."

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – The Strengthening and Conditioning Factory is hosting a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network on Sunday. The... More >>
6 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 6:11:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Four people made it out safely of a house on Rosemary Lane in Columbia Saturday morning after a... More >>
16 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 7:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to shots heard at the 800 block of Spencer Avenue on Saturday just before 5:00... More >>
18 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Cheerleaders rolled up their sleeves and got dirty while washing cars Saturday as athletes at Capitol City... More >>
20 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - A man was taken into custody and charged Friday night after leading authorities on a chase through the... More >>
20 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Members of the Central Missouri Radio Association are inviting mid-Missourians to participate in the National Amateur Radio Field... More >>
20 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Aspen Dental provided veterans with free services in mid-Missouri and across the U.S. Saturday for the Aspen Day... More >>
22 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some GOP state lawmakers want to give the Missouri attorney general authority to prosecute violations... More >>
23 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis judge has pushed back until Jan. 8 the retrial of a man accused... More >>
23 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:59:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis County police are investigating the case of a toddler who died after the vehicle... More >>
23 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:47:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are searching for a man now accused of killing a couple and another... More >>
23 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:42:00 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an initial 911 call Saturday morning reporting an airplane flying... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:43:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY— The Sam B. Cook Healthplex hosted the 5th Annual Sweatin' to Make a Difference on Saturday. The... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - An early Friday morning shooting has left one man with non-life-threatening injuries. Columbia Police officers responded to... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 10:26:00 AM CDT in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - When the justices take the bench Monday for their final week before a summer hiatus, they are... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 8:18:00 AM CDT in News
BOONVILLE – Residents gathered on Saturday for the 28th Annual Boonville Heritage Days. About 100 members of the community... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 4:38:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police are warning residents about a phone scam. The Columbia Police Department said it has received multiple... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:52:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MUPD officers gave the "all clear" late Friday night after authorities said they did not find an explosive... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
1pm 77°
2pm 77°
3pm 77°
4pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:00p
America's Cup
2:00p
Dew Tour
3:00p
Track & Field
12:30p
Family Guy
1:00p
True Grit
3:30p
The Legend of Zorro

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Despicable Me
9:00p
Little Big Shots: Forever Young
6:00p
Road House
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld