Posted: Mar 19, 2013 11:43 PM 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."
Posted 2:08 PM 11/26/2015 by Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Reporter and Nicole Cooke, Sedalia Democrat Reporter
COLUMBIA - A fire in Sedalia gutted two homes and heavily damaged at lest two others Thursday on the 500 block of 4th Street. Dramatic pictures and video from the scene show flames and heavy smoke.
No one was injured in the fire, according to Sedalia Fire (More)
Posted 1:55 PM 11/26/2015 by Kolbie Satterfield, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – An expected 650 people were fed a full Thanksgiving meal today thanks to the annual “Everybody Eats” program.
There were 59 turkeys and 11 hams prepared the day before Thanksgiving to feed the crowd, head chef Bill Sullivan said.
For two of the many (More)
Posted 12:09 PM 11/26/2015 by The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Springfield police said an officer shot and killed a man during a struggle over the officer's gun.
Police on Thursday identified the man who was killed as 23-year-old Magnum E. Phillips, of Springfield. Police said in a news release that the shooting happened (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 10:31 AM 11/26/2015 by The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Arrests for drunken boating on Missouri waterways have fallen by 63 percent since the Missouri State Water Patrol merged with the Highway Patrol.
State records show that arrests for boating while intoxicated fell from 352 in 2010, the last year before the merger, to (More)
Posted 10:22 AM 11/26/2015 by Annisa Budiman, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - As people are preparing for their Thanksgiving feast, shoppers are planning to get the best deals for Black Friday. Many stores are again starting Black Friday sales early on Thursday this year.
KOMU 8 talked to shoppers at Walmart and Best Buy about their plans for (More)
Posted 9:40 AM 11/26/2015 by Eric Yount, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
BOONE COUNTY - An early morning fire broke out in a house at 6399 Old Village Road Thursday.
Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District said a couch caught fire in the living room, causing smoke and heat damage throughout the room. The woman living there and her two dogs were able to escape without injury.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Posted 8:41 AM 11/26/2015 by Eric Yount, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
MEXICO - Mexico Public Safety arrested a man early Thursday morning in connection to a shooting in Mexico.
The Mexico Public Safety Department responded to calls of a man being shot just before 2 a.m. Thursday and found a 32-year-old man in the road in the 900 block of Carrico Street. (More)
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Posted 6:56 AM 11/26/2015 by The Associated Press
SPARTA (AP) - A southwest Missouri police chief has been placed on leave after killing a pit bull.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that Sparta Police Chief Andrew Spencer was placed on leave Tuesday.
A police report says a resident told Spencer earlier this month that (More)
Posted 5:40 AM 11/26/2015 by The Associated Press
OZARK (AP) - A Missouri woman has been found dead after shooting at bail bondsmen and exchanging gunfire with law enforcement.
Sgt. Jason Pace, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, identified the woman killed Wednesday afternoon as Somer Brook Speer, of Ozark. She also is a bondwoman (More)