Kentucky, UNC reportedly among those after Alex Oriakhi

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Connecticut granted forward Alex Oriakhi his release Tuesday. Didn’t take much time for the power forward to attract plenty of interest from big-name schools, either.

According to Kevin Duffy of Hearst Connecticut, Kentucky and North Carolina were among those who contacted the junior. The list grew to at least 15 teams by the end of the day.

Oriakhi, a 6-10 junior, would only have one season of eligibility remaining, but would be an asset to any team. He’s an excellent rebounder, particularly on the offensive end, and is a solid post defender. His block percentage improved every season while at UConn and compared to players such as Michigan State’s Adreian Payne and Creighton’s Gregory Echenique.

The X-factor in this is how soon Oriakhi would be eligible to play.

If UConn’s postseason band for 2013 is upheld, Oriakhi would likely be able to play right away with an NCAA waiver. But that might not be clear for another couple months.

Oriakhi averaged 6.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks last season.

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