Oriakhi Making Single Season at Missouri Count

3 years 6 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- On Saturday, Meals with Mom brought together mothers and their children to make homemade pizza rolls and desert. ... More >>
5 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 7:08:00 PM CDT in News
WARSAW (AP) — A 51-year-old Springfield man already in prison on drug charges has been sentenced to life in prison... More >>
6 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:58:00 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) — A former Joplin police officer has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for offering to help a... More >>
6 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:32:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Police arrested two siblings Saturday morning at a residence on the 900 block of Lyle Street. ... More >>
7 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A 41-year-old man was accused of beating his significant other with a hammer Friday, according to the Boone... More >>
8 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 4:03:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Old Munichburg Association brought the community out to celebrate German culture during Saturday's Oktoberfest. The... More >>
8 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 3:52:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU Children's Hospital held a tailgate for the MU vs. Delaware State football game Saturday. With help... More >>
9 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 3:15:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 25-year-old man was struck and killed after he got out of a vehicle stopped... More >>
9 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 2:50:51 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Tigers' quarterback Drew Lock threw for 402 yards and five touchdowns, including four to wide receiver J’Mon... More >>
10 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 2:22:00 PM CDT in Sports
HAZELWOOD (AP) — St. Louis area police said injuries have been reported after a car hit people waiting for a... More >>
10 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 1:51:48 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - This morning officers confirmed a report of shots fired in the area of Arlene Drive and Gillespie Bridge... More >>
11 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:54:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One person was killed when a vehicle plunged into a Kansas City area lake. ... More >>
12 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:15:43 PM CDT in News
ROGERSVILLE (AP) — A 13-year-old Missouri boy who's mowing lawns for free for single mothers, senior citizens and the disabled... More >>
13 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 11:30:43 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to buy a Kansas City casino in 1999, but... More >>
13 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 10:50:02 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Puppies with Purpose, a CHAMP Assistance Dogs, Inc. program gives puppies the opportunity to train to become assistance... More >>
15 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 8:35:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A 23-year-old man is accused of breaking into the MU Alpha Chi Omega sorority house Thursday. John... More >>
1 day ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 10:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A car and motorcycle collided at the intersection of Brown School Road and Highway 763 Friday evening. ... More >>
1 day ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 9:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two people told police they saw someone with a weapon on the 400 block of Brooks Street... More >>
1 day ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 7:55:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
1am 75°
2am 75°
3am 74°
4am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:02a
LX.TV: 1st Look
12:32a
Open House NYC
1:02a
Open House NYC
12:00a
Murder of a Cat
2:00a
Elementary
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
6:00p
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
8:00p
Paid Program
8:30p
Cops Reloaded
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld