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Oriakhi, Coombs-McDaniel make it official

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Alex Oriakhi will be playing in Storrss next year (Hartford Courant).

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (left) and Alex Oriakhi will be playing in Storrs next year (Hartford Courant).

Although both Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel verballed to UConn as sophomores, the two made it official last night, signing and sending in letters of intent for the Huskies.

Connecticut sports writers collectively let out a sigh of depression after receiving e-mails from the the team, as they will now have to spell Oriakhi (which took me at least two minutes to write in the headline) for four years.

But while he'll bring about numerous newspaper corrections, Oriakhi, as well as Coombs-McDaniel, will also help rebuild a post game that will lose Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet.

Oriakhi (6-9, 145) is ranked the 21st best prospect in the 2009 class by, and the No. 2 center (even though I don't know how a 6-9 player can be considered a center), while Coombs-McDaniel (6-7, 210), a small forward, is ranked No. 65.

Here's a Rivals article from July on how Oriakhi is progressing.

George Blaney, speaking to the media in place of Calhoun, who had to attend some function to attend to, and A.J. Price were excited by their additions.

(Here's what you can expect from Oriakhi next year)


On Oriakhi: "Everybody that has seen them, or mostly assistant coaches that you talk to who have seen him, all say how strong and how much he's finishing now. and how much he's finishing now, even better than he did in the summer or even last year. One of the biggest things you have to do when you come in at this level is be physically ready to play. And he looks physically ready to play and that's a big step for any kid who comes into a program like this."

On Coombs-McDaniel: "Jamal just knows how to play. He knows how to get open, he knows how to get his shot and he just keeps getting better. They are really two good kids, so we're really happy they're part of the Husky family."

Price on both:

"They're definitely going to bring something to the team, definitely. They are hard workers, which is always going to be a stamp here, you're always going to have to be a hard worker under coach Calhoun. Good kids, as well. Sky's the limit for them."