Mailbag 4/9: What To Make Of The Interest In Oriakhi

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Mailbag, UConn men's basketball

Question: Dom, kind of curious what your opinion is regarding [Alex] Oriakhi, his list of supposed schools and his impact at these schools. I’m not writing this to knock him, but he played against top level competition, was inconsistent and an offensive non factor for the better part of three years at UConn, although he showed flashes during their national championship season. While I still think he could be a solid rebounder, how much value does he bring to some of these schools for one year, and does his dad have as much influence as it seems? His situation boggles my mind.



A: Well, Todd, I see it like this: Alex is bound to draw a lot of interest from top programs because he is like a veteran baseball star willing to sign a one-year contact. He would be a low-risk get for one of the programs that have been mentioned, with a potential high reward. If a team is losing frong court players, Alex could come in and provide immediate, experienced help, and have more impact that most freshmen that could be had. A coach, too, could envision what Oriakhi did in the Final Four in 2011 and imagine he could recapture that, if he is back to his old position, with a change of scenery and fresh start. And a coach would probably have a different vision of what Oriakhi would look like surrounded by a different cast of characters.

If it all goes bust, what has a program lost? It gets the scholarship right back after one year and everyone moves on.

The risk is more on Oriakhi’s part. No coach can really guarantee playing time, or a role. Oriakhi will have to come in and compete for it and make an impression on a new coaching staff. So he will have to pick the place where, based on the roster, he envisions the best chance for success. As for Mr. Oriakhi, well, yes, readers of this blog know the man speaks his mind and a new school will have to be prepared to accept that.

Folks, BTW, I do have a number of your questions saved up and will try to get to  them in the coming days.

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15 thoughts on “Mailbag 4/9: What To Make Of The Interest In Oriakhi

  1. Dick

    I think Oriakhi will shine somewhere else. I think Calhoun did him a great injustice with the way he treated him. He is the team captain and leader and he was treated like a freshman just learning his way. I believe his “inconsistency” this year was due to the above and wish him the very best.

    1. TZToronto

      I think it was more a lack of assertiveness on Alex’s part. This is not a knock on him. Two years ago, he was the new guy, and he deferred to others who had more “seniority” than he did. During the NC season, he was the big man (or at least he felt he was the big man). He took advantage of that and played pretty well. This past season, he was probably set to be “the” big man again–but then Drummond magically appeared, and Alex was relegated to a supporting role. Without Drummond, I think Alex might have done very well. A new start at a new school might be just what he needs. And perhaps he just wasn’t cut out to thrive under Calhoun. In any case, he has a championship ring that he wouldn’t have had otherwise, and he has UConn (and Kemba)to thank for that.

      1. Alex Oriakhi

        Well putted man,u have a heart.that was what happened.the most senior players in the roster, after championship was treated like high school player.his confidence was ruffled big time.well as a father I did what was right by me. I will not be a bystander and let somebody abuse my boy. I rather die than do nothing

      2. Alex Oriakhi

        No doubt Alex will shine.God willing I know what Alex can do. Believe me time will prove me right or wrong. I just cannot wait for next season to see Alex as Alex. Am a big time influence in his life. That is what father does. Alex is level headed he is my life basketball or not. Am very sensitive when it comes to him. He is too humble unlike me. Last season was ugly. God don’t like ugly…. All the best Uconn. I love uConn as a program but……

    2. John

      A agree to a large degree. Alex is still immature. Lack of PT hurt his confidence and everything else followed. Calhoun took a softer approach with this group this year because he was afraid of hurting their confidence overall. He probably needed to yank guys, especially Alex, out of the game when they were not playing to their potential, yell at them and put them right back in. I think Alex would have responded better to that.

      1. Alex Oriakhi

        Man did you watch the games? Yelling is different from coaching. Coaches are to build confidence. At the end of the day yelling didn’t work this time. Where you from man? Go the zoo & scream man

      2. Alex Oriakhi

        Do you have children man, do u love them and are u in their lives? Treat others the way you want others to u or ur children.apart from Alex what about Roscoe smith? 1040 minutes as freshman to 600minutes as a sophomore. In life we work our ways up not down. Do you wish that on urself or children? The kid was MCdonald all American.why are some of u so blind.

        1. RUSure

          I don’t care of Roscoe was a Burger King All American. It’s all about performance and Roscoe has had is ups and downs. He played well the second half of this season and should be a force next.

    3. Alex Oriakhi

      Dick you are blessed for having the courage to say what u said. Calhoun treated Alex less than a freshman. I love Calhoun with passion the way He treated my son. Me & Calhoun no love lost. Unfortunately he berated me, I stood up to the ocassion. He is used to yes fathers this time he met his match. Am a solid father 24/7.i answer sir to no man but God. I don’t respect ppl by fame or fortune. I have no political correctness in my book.u are man I love to respect.

      1. RUSure

        You are a nut job. If you can’t catch the ball or put it in the hole from 3 feet out, you are not going to play much – period. Your kids problem was he sulked which effected his performance. So Calhoun met his match, huh? I think it’s the other way around as JC is saying to himself “good riddance”.

    4. Alex Oriakhi

      Ya aren’t Seeing nothing. God willing Alex is ready to shine. To the doubters out there, I promise ya all, this is going to be eye opener.

      1. RUSure

        If you think your kid is headed for the NBA, you are more delusional than I thought.

        1. Gene Callahan

          And you are an ugly creep, RUSure. With Mr. Oriakhi is right or wrong, it is a pitiful human being who acts like you do to someone about his son.

          1. RUSure

            I’m not really a pitiful human being, but yes the truth hurts sometimes. Problem with today is people are way to hyper sensitive and can’t take criticism. BTW, you could you could use a little work on your grammar/writing skills.

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