In the face of impending NCAA sanctions against the program, center Alex Oriakhi will transfer from Connecticut, reports Kevin Duffy of the Connecticut Post.
David Borges of the New Haven Register quotes Oriakhi’s mother on Twitter, saying that when asked about the news of her son’s transfer, she did not confirm it and, instead, said she “needed to talk to [her] son about it.”
Oriakhi won a national championship with the Huskies in 2011 and averaged nearly seven points and five rebounds for the Huskies this past season.
Because of a non-qualifying academic progress rating, the Huskies are currently barred from the 2013 NCAA tournament.
If that ban remains, NCAA rules would allow for Oriakhi to bypass the one year sit-out that is typically required of transfer players and allow him to play right away.
With one year of eligibility remaining, he would be a nice pick-up for a team looking for a presence on the inside, especially considering his veteran standing and his national championship experience. The fact that he would not have to sit out a season would make him an immediate contributor.
Connecticut now finds itself at a crossroads.
While the bottom of the Big East continues to rise, including St. John’s, Providence, Rutgers, and South Florida, the Huskies are most likely going to lose Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb to the NBA draft, will continue to answer questions about Jim Calhoun’s future with the team, and have signed just one player from the Class of 2012.
Connecticut lost to Iowa State in the NCAA tournament, after playing the most difficult schedule in the country in 2011-12 and finishing with a record of 20-14, including 8-10 in the Big East.
The school made an attempt to gain a waiver from the NCAA APR sanctions by self-imposing a number of sanctions, but it was denied. The proposed self-imposed sanctions included in that now-denied request are outlined here.