Connecticut senior transfer Alex Oriakhi has narrowed his list and lined up his visits. He will visit UNC, Duke, Kentucky, and Missouri. Oriakhi will have one year of eligibility left and will be able to play immediately for his new team after leaving UConn after they were punished by the NCAA and will miss the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky has a disadvantage against the rest of the field. Because the SEC does not allow one-year transfers, Oriakhi would have to file for an academic waiver in order to become eligible at Kentucky. Although the Wildcats are in his final four, I just don’t see the Kentucky getting a “academic waiver” by the NCAA here. Everybody knows Oriakhi is transferring for basketball reasons and an academic waiver would be a slap in the face to the process. At the same time, you really can’t put anything past Calipari so we’ll see.
Carolina and Duke both offer a chance to play immediately. UNC has been decimated by the departures of senior Tyler Zeller and the early exits of Harrison Barnes and John Henson on the front line. In addition to that, Roy Williams is still waiting on freshman James Michael McAdoo to make up his mind about his future. As it stands now even with McAdoo, Carolina desparetly needs Oriakhi’s experience and presence on the defensive end.
Dook is also losing at least one if not both of the annoying Plumlee brothers. The Blue Devils would be the oddest fit in my mind. Aside from hating Duke, they just don’t have players like Oriakhi, I can’t picture him in Duke blue.
Oriakhi’s father also said that Xavier, Ohio State and UNC-Charlotte are possible destinations for his son. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t at least visit the Buckeyes before he makes his decision. No timetable has been set and it appears he will take his time before he makes his destination known.