From the University of Missouri
Alex Oriakhi became the third Missouri Tiger drafted into the National Basketball Association in the Frank Haith era on Thursday when the Phoenix Suns selected him with the 57th overall pick (27th pick of the second round).
Oriakhi follows both Kim English (Detroit Pistons at No. 44) and Marcus Denmon (San Antonio Spurs at No. 59) who were selected in the second round in 2012 and he becomes the 43rd Tiger drafted all-time and the second drafted by the Suns. Marvin "Moon" McCrary was selected in the fifth round of the 1982 draft by Phoenix.
"I want to congratulate both Alex and the Phoenix Suns on tonight's draft selection," Head Coach Frank Haith said. "Alex put in a tremendous amount of work, as did Phil (Pressey), Laurence (Bowers) and Keion (Bell), and is so deserving of this opportunity. He is one of the most coachable players I have ever been around and improved tremendously throughout his senior season."
Oriakhi played one season at Mizzou and averaged a career high 11.2 points and set career highs in starts (34), field goal percentage (.639) and free throw percentage (.746). The 6-foot-9, 255-pound forward earned honorable mention All-SEC recognition from the league media and was one of the league's top defensive players finishing with 54 blocks and 20 steals. The Lowell, Mass., native would have led the Southeastern Conference in field goal percentage (.679) with enough attempts in league play and was near flawless from the floor over his final seven games, hitting 40-of-46 field goal attempts (.870). In fact Oriakhi would have ranked No. 3 nationally in field goal percentage (.639) with enough attempts and played some of his best basketball over his final eight games averaging 14.1 points with three double-doubles. Overall Oriakhi ranked fourth in the SEC with 11 double-doubles, the most at Mizzou since the 2002-03 campaign.
"I was really excited to hear my named called tonight and it's an honor to have a chance to play and compete for the Phoenix Suns," Oriakhi said. "Phoenix is a great organization. They have great fans and I can't wait to get back out there and get to work. I also want to thank my coaches and teammates at Mizzou. Coach Haith and the staff really believed in me and my teammates and the fans welcomed me in and treated me like family."
Oriakhi began his career at the University of Connecticut and scored his 1,000th career point at the collegiate level in Missouri's win over Auburn and topped 1,000 career rebounds in the Senior Night victory against Arkansas. He had one of the more dominating rebounding efforts in college basketball last season grabbing 18 rebounds to go with a career high 22 points in a home win over Ole Miss and was named the SEC Player of the Week on March 4 following wins against LSU and South Carolina. In that win over LSU he scored 18 points and grabbed 10 boards and then had 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting against South Carolina.
Oriakhi finished his senior campaign hitting 16 consecutive field goal attempts and his 63.9 percent shooting touch from the floor ranked No. 4 all-time in Mizzou single-season history. He became the first Tiger since Doug Smith to average more than eight rebounds and shoot better than 70 percent from the foul line.
For more information on Mizzou Basketball please visit our website, mutigers.com.
Missouri Tigers in the NBA Draft
Year Name Team Round Pick
2013 Alex Oriakhi Phoenix Suns 2nd 57th
2012 Kim English Detroit Pistons 2nd 44th
Marcus Denmon San Antonio Spurs 2nd 59th
2009 DeMarre Carroll Memphis Grizzlies 1st 27th
2005 Linas Kleiza Portland Trailblazers 1st 27th
(To Denver Nuggets)
2004 Rickey Paulding Detroit Pistons 2nd 54th
2002 Kareem Rush Toronto Raptors 1st 20th
(To L.A. Lakers)
2000 Keyon Dooling Orlando Magic 1st 10th
(To L.A. Clippers)
1994 Jevon Crudup Detroit Pistons 2nd 48th
1992 Anthony Peeler Los Angeles Lakers 1st 15th
1991 Doug Smith Dallas Mavericks 1st 5th
1989 Byron Irvin Portland Trail Blazers 1st 22nd
Gary Leonard Minnesota Timberwolves 2nd 34th
1988 Derrick Chievous Houston Rockets 1st 16th
1986 Dan Bingenheimer Golden St. Warriors 4th 75th
Jeff Strong Milwaukee Bucks 7th 151st
1985 Greg Cavener Golden St. Warriors 5th 95th
Malcolm Thomas Los Angeles Clippers 6th 121st
1984 Prince Bridges Detroit Pistons 5th 103rd
1983 Steve Stipanovich Indiana Pacers 1st 2nd
Jon Sundvold Seattle Supersonics 1st 16th
1982 Ricky Frazier Chicago Bulls 2nd 26th
Marvin McCrary Phoenix Sun 5th 108th
1981 Curtis Berry Kansas City Kings 3rd 58th
1980 Larry Drew Detroit Pistons 1st 17th
1978 Clay Johnson Portland Trail Blazers 5th 110th
1977 Kim Anderson Portland Trail Blazers 2nd 28th
Jim Kennedy Detroit Pistons 5th 102nd
Scott Sims San Antonio Spurs 5th 103rd
1976 Willie Smith Chicago Bulls 2nd 18th
1974 Al Eberhard Detroit Pistons 1st 15th
Gary Link Buffalo Braves 6th 99th
1973 John Brown Atlanta Hawks 1st 10th
Mike Jeffries KC-Omaha Kings 7th 110th
1971 Henry Smith Milwaukee Bucks 4th 68th
1970 Don Tomlinson Cleveland Cavaliers 14th 209th
1968 Gene Jones Milwaukee Bucks 10th 134th
1967 Ron Coleman San Diego 9th 102nd
1964 Ray Bob Carey San Francisco — —
1961 Charles Henke Los Angeles Lakers — —
1956 Norm Stewart St. Louis — —
1955 Bob Reiter Ft. Wayne — —