Mizzou's Alex Oriakhi drafted No. 57 by Phoenix Suns

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                              —            —

1952       Bill Stauffer                           Boston Celtics                       —            —