Missouri Becomes TransferU
Looking at the list of transfers eligible for this season, San Diego State and UNLV; the Rebels of UNLV have USC wing Bryce Jones, Khem Birch from Pitt to go along with four current players that moved on from other programs. San Diego State bests UNLV with six transfers on their roster including two forwards this offseason and three more JuCo players. But Missouri may have the class of them all, using key transfers to restock the rotations after five core seniors graduated Missouri this spring.
The crème de la crème of this offseason's transfers is former UConn power forward/center, Alex Oriakhi. By all measures, the burly 6'9" forward had a down junior years in '11-'12 as the Huskies disappointed all around coming off a national title the year before. But that doesn't take away from Orikahi's potential impact on the Tigers starting lineup; as a sophomore, he shot better than 50 percent from the field, averaging nearly 10 points to go along with his 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 29 minutes of action. He is mobile, agile and athletic and should be a perfect fit in replacing Ricardo Ratliffe at center. Oriakhi's presence will clearly make Laurence Bowers' time returning from a torn ACL a bit easier.
Super-athletic wing, Keion Bell, a former 19-point per game scorer at Pepperdine will replace, if not exceed, most of the scoring left behind by former Tigers' Marcus Denmon and Kim English. Bell isn't the perimeter scorer that this duo was (177 made 3s last year), but when combined with point guard Phil Pressey, that backcourt should accumulate plenty of buckets at the rim and easy points at the foul line. And most likely joining the guard-oriented attack will be Jabari Brown, the former Oregon Duck of two games. While he struggled
mightily to get things going in those two games, Brown can be an electric scorer as he proved at a high level in high school and on the Ducks' pre-season trip to Italy. But if he can't put some points up, Earnest Ross, Auburn's leading scorer and rebounder in 2010-11. He'll be eligible to play after sitting out all of last season and should give the Tigers a nice boost from the perimeter as well as some toughness slashing to the rim.
These four transfers could find themselves in the starting lineup along with Phil Pressey, the floor general to bring everyone's talents together. That would bring potential sixth man of the year, Mike Dixon Jr., off the bench for the second straight year, along with the inside presence of Laurence Bowers.
Although Missouri again will lack size and depth up front, their combination of guards and wings will be amongst the deepest and most talented rotations in the country, giving them one potent offensive attack.
By President Corey Ruff - 5 - 11 - 12