The Missouri Tigers enjoyed a season for the ages in 2011. Thirty wins through the Big 12 regular season, the team was perched in the top five for most of the year and Frank Haith won Coach of the Year for his incredible work. However, the team soured at the wrong time and lost in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament to Norfolk State in a historic loss.
The good news is that it didn’t take very long to have a positive outlook for Missouri basketball again. When UConn forward Alex Oriakhi announced his intention to transfer to Missouri, his immediate availability and post ability gave an already good program a chance to return to greatness one year later. On a guard heavy team, Oriakhi’s presence should immediately be felt. Frank Haith knows it.
“He was ecstatic," explains Oriakhi in an interview with KCSP. "He was really excited, gave me a hug and said, ‘Welcome to the family.’ … He said it was like getting a Christmas present. I heard that. That’s not what he told me, but that’s what I heard. I just laughed. For a coach to say that about you, it just shows how bad he really wanted me and I’m just excited to come down there and just work my tail off and let the results follow.”