Oriakhi Making Single Season at Missouri Count

4 years 1 month 1 week 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 Boone County Office of Emergency Management has reported numerous road closures due to flooding Saturday. ... More >>
1 hour ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 1:32:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has agreed to pay a penalty to the state Ethics Commission for failing... More >>
3 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 10:50:22 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has bought a lakeside house in a resort community west of St. Louis.... More >>
5 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:14:38 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The maternal grandmother of a 7-year-old Kansas boy whose remains were found in a pigsty... More >>
5 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:09:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A free carnival-style event Saturday aims to combine fun with education about childhood safety and accident prevention. The... More >>
6 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:44:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON – Equestrian students at William Woods University have the unique opportunity to learn from a living legend April 28-30.... More >>
8 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 5:53:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - According to a Columbia Police Department press release, officers arrested a suspect wanted by the St. Louis Police... More >>
10 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 4:12:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Close to 25 environmental activists from mid-Missouri boarded a bus bound for Washington, D.C. Friday afternoon headed to... More >>
19 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 7:35:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Public Safety is preparing to respond to potential dangerous flooding in the forecast beginning... More >>
19 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 7:20:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - As prom season begins, the Jefferson City Police Department will start sending out more officers to monitor... More >>
19 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 7:01:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Fatal accidents involving drugged driving have surpassed those involving drunk driving, according to a new study from... More >>
21 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 5:36:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Thousands of workers in St. Louis are preparing to see a jump in pay now that... More >>
22 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 4:27:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Autopsy results confirmed the body found by the Fulton Police Department Monday is 31-year-old Carl L. DeBrodie, the... More >>
22 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Some Columbia utility customers are complaining because of recent past due notices sent out for the month of... More >>
23 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 3:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University’s Board of Curators announced Thursday it will suspend tenure and earned advancements for its faculty.... More >>
23 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 3:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Four teenagers were taken to the hospital Friday morning following a vehicle crash on I-70, according to the... More >>
23 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:58:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Music enhances and develops the life of 20-year-old Nathan Walton on a daily basis. "I play a... More >>
1 day ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri Task Force 1 sent a team to Southern Missouri to help with the possible flooding in the... More >>
1 day ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
3pm 58°
4pm 58°
5pm 58°
6pm 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
5:00p
Jeopardy!
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
2:30p
The King of Queens
3:00p
Rookie Blue
4:00p
Rookie Blue

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld