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Mizzou Signs National Champ Big Man

Brad Choat
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Alex Oriakhi speaks after his Connecticut Huskies won the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Getty/Andy Lyons)

Alex Oriakhi speaks after his Connecticut Huskies won the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Getty/Andy Lyons)

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMOX) – Size and experience. That’s what Frank Haith knows Alex Oriakhi will add to his Missouri Tigers basketball team next season.

Haith announced the signing of the University of Connecticut transfer on Friday.

The 6’9″ 245 pound power forward won a national champioship with UConn as a sophomore in 2011.

Oriakhi has signed a financial aid agreement to attend Mizzou and will have one year of college eligibility left ( the 2012-2013 season).

The Lowell, Mass. native averaged 7.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 109 games over the past three seasons at Connecticut, to go along with 166 shots blocked.

The 2009 Gatorade High School Player of the Year in New Hampshire and a McDonald’s Prep All-American, Oriakhi will be reunited with current Tiger guard Phil Pressey, who was a previous teammate with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.

“We’re very excited to add a talented and proven player like Alex to our program,” said coach Frank Haith.  “Addressing our front court depth has been a major emphasis of ours for this next year, and when you add Alex to a group of newcomers including Stefan Jankovic, Ryan Rosburg and Tony Criswell, we are definitely heading the right direction.  Alex is a very hard worker, he’s somebody who we expect to fit into our program’s culture right away.  He will do whatever he’s asked to help the team, and he can impact a game any number of ways, whether it’s scoring, rebounding or defending,” Haith said.

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