Forward Arsalan Kazemi transfers to Oregon
Arsalan Kazemi later confirmed the news in an interview to the Fox channel.
"I decided to come to Oregon," said Arsalan Kazeni. "I think it was a situation for me, I had to look at a lot of schools, and I think this was the best situation for me.”
“So I decided to come to Oregon,” finished Arsalan Kazemi.
After visiting the Oregon campus on Saturday, Arsalan Kazemi had been scheduled to undertake his first team practice with the Ducks on Monday.
However, Arsalan Kazemi is required to receive a hardship waiver to immediately start with Oregon rather than being barred from playing the first season after transferring. In the advent the NCAA does not oblige, Arsalan Kazemi will sit out the 2013 season instead of signing contract with a professional league overseas or declaring for the NBA drafts.
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Arsalan Kazemi was amongst the six Rice players who parted ways with the program after the end of previous season.
In his junior year with at Rice, Arsalan Kazemi averaged 12.4 points and 10.3 rebound last season. If he had remained at Rice this season, the first college basketball player of Iranian birth, Arsalan Kazemi could have contested for the USA player of the year title following this season.
Arsalan Kazemi’s presence on the frontcourt will further boost the Oregon roster already packed at the position with local talent, Ducks senior E.J. Singler and several players who had originally intended for other schools.
Since signing on a coaching contract with Oregon in 2010, Ducks coach Dana Altman has favored bringing talent varying talent to the ranks by filling up the roster with a combination of high school seniors and college transfers.
Oregon just included 6-11 transfer Waverly Austin, a forward at South Florida to the roster and former Wake Forest transfer Tony Woods who played as a junior with the Ducks last season will also return. Waverly Austin, a JC transfer form beach State College, was academically ineligible for the start of the fall semester at South Florida but was accommodated at Oregon owing to the quarter-semester system.
If Arsalan Kazemi is considered eligible to start this season with Oregon, it will make quite a dominating frontcourt mix with the highly experienced E.J. Singler, including other Ducks players Tony Woods and Waverly Austin, who add size and length to the position. However, if Arsalan Kazemi is forced to sit the 2012-2013 season, he will still provide a strong frontcourt presence alongside Waverly Austin the following seaosn.
Oregon will undoubtedly build its hopes on a strong and experienced frontcourt rather than relying on the youthful presence backcourt with point guard Dominic Artis having the most impact at the position. The Ducks posted an overall 24-10 record last season, with 13-5 at Pac-12 including a run at the NIT quarterfinals.