The Oregon Ducks basketball team could have a huge addition to their squad at the power forward position if former Rice Owls star Arsalan Kazemi transfers to the team and receives a hardship waiver from the NCAA to play next season. Kazemi has been arguably the best player in the C-USA over the past two seasons and posted a conference-leading 27.4 PER (second straight year leading the C-USA in PER).
At this point in time, Kazemi has Oregon and the Kentucky Wildcats as his early leaders. He’s also looking at other big programs in Cincinnati, Texas, Ohio State, and Florida.
Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
The first Iranian player to play D-I hoops, Arsalan Kazemi is one of the top rebounders in the country and is coming off a season in which he averaged 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game at Rice. Kazemi, who will be the sixth player to transfer from former California Golden Bears and current Rice coach Ben Braun’s squad, led the C-USA in PER, steals per game, defensive rebounds, and in defensive rating.
With 5.9 win shares, Kazemi was second in the conference in that statistic and allowed just .857 points per possession to lead the C-USA. The Rice star was also second in the conference in rebounds per game and averaged 2.1 steals per game. He has been one of the most productive players in recent conference history, and Kazemi would greatly boost Oregon’s defense, rebounding, and he is also an efficient scorer who was fifth in the C-USA in true shooting percentage.
It’s great to see that an extremely productive player has Oregon right with Kentucky as the leaders in his decision to transfer, and he even has the Ducks over two national powers in OSU and Florida (Texas is near that level as well). It just goes to show that Dana Altman and the Oregon Ducks basketball program are continuing to gain respect with players across the nation, and adding Kazemi would be huge for Oregon’s continued success in the conference next season. It’s been a steady rise for the Ducks under Altman, and we’ll see if the Ducks can beat out UK and the other big schools for Kazemi.
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