It took a long time for his name to be called, but former Missouri Tigers basketball center Alex Oriakhi was selected No. 57 overall by the Phoenix Suns in the second round of Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
Oriakhi was the first player from the Mizzou program selected, which came as a surprise as the high-profile Phil Pressey, who went undrafted on the night, was expected to go higher after deciding to leave the school and foregoing his Senior season.
Oriakhi spent just one season in Columbia after transferring from UConn after the Huskies were ruled ineligible for post-season play.
The center owned the middle of the paint for the Tigers this past season, averaging a career-high 11.2 points per game as he displayed a more-advanced offensive game under head coach Frank Haith.
Oriakhi was likely drafted because of his size and rebounding ability. He averaged 8.4 boards per game for the Tigers last season in 25.8 minutes per game.
While Oriakhi is not exactly polished, he did show a better stroke from the free throw line, shooting a respectable 74.6 percent and if Oriakhi hopes to have a long career in the NBA, he will need to develop a 15-footer from the field as well.
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