Few teams in the Pac-12 have a weakness more glaring than Oregons lack of a big-time board-getter.
Oregons best rebounder last season (E.J. Singler) pulled down just 5.6 boards per game, the second lowest mark for a teams leading rebounder in the Pac-12. Only Trojans guard Byron Wesley, USCs top-performing rebounder last season, owned a lower total.
Less than three weeks before the teams first official practice, the Ducks shored up their rebounding deficiency by grabbing the best available rebounder on the open market. And they did so in grand style.
Oregon beat out Kentucky on the recruiting wireyes, in basketballto land coveted Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi (6'7''-F-90). Kazemi, a physical 6-foot-7 forward and rebounding maestro, committed to Dana Altman and his staff following a visit to the Eugene campus on Saturday. He has since enrolled at Oregon and begun working out with the team.
The first Iranian-born college basketball player to play in Division 1, Kazemi averaged 12.4 points and 10.3 rebounds for the Owls as a junior last season. Had he returned to Rice for his senior campaign, the transfer forward would have been a preseason favorite for Conference USA player of the year honors. In addition to Oregon and Kentucky, Kazemi was also considering Texas, Florida, Ohio State and Cincinnati.
Kazemi is pursuing a hardship waiver to play immediately. Under NCAA rules, transfers not granted a special waiver must sit out two semesters before playing in games for their new school.
The three-year Owl standout exits his former school under extraordinary circumstances, becoming the sixth player to leave Rice since the end of last season. Kazemi joins ex-teammate Omar Oraby (USC) as the second Rice player to transfer into the Pac-12.
If the NCAA grants Kazemi a waiver, the core of Oregons starting front court next season will consist of players making second and third college stops. Other than the senior Singler, a native Oregonian who has remained at the school for all four years, the Ducks will lean heavily on a crop of transfers who first made names for themselves at other place.
Starting center Tony Woods, a Wake Forest transfer who developed into a starting role at Oregon during conference play last season, should see an uptick in minutes what with the loss of forward Olu Ashaolu. The Ducks have also bolstered their depth down low this offseason thanks to the addition of 6-foot-11 junior college transfer Waverly Austin, a versatile big man expected to back up Woods at center next season.
No transfer ticketed for Eugene, however, is more significant than the Middle Eastern migrant who passed up the glitz of Kentucky for a leading role at Oregon. With Kazemi on board for one seasonwhenever, exactly, he is eligible to playthe Ducks will no longer have to lean on a perimeter-oriented player to shoulder the rebounding load.
To compete with the muscle of Washington, Arizona, UCLA and the like inside, Oregon needed to revamp its frontcourt using external solutions. So after combing the transfer wire and stumbling upon the only Iranian-born player in college basketball, not only did the Ducks end up with quite the story, but they may have pulled down the Pac-12s future top rebounder too.
TEHRAN (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments) - Iran head coach Dirk Bauermann has settled on a 12-man roster for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Turin that has plenty of experience but also promising young talent. The most recognizable of faces from recent times are Hamed Haddadi(218-C-85), Oshin Sahakian, Arsalan Kazemi, Mohammad Jamshidi and Asghar Kardoust. Youngsters that figure to be in the Iran set-up for years to come that will also be present include Behnam Y... [read more]
TEHRAN (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments) - Iran head coach Dirk Bauermann has settled on a 12-man roster for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Turin that has plenty of experience but also promising young talent.
The most recognizable of faces from recent times are Hamed Haddadi (218-C-85), Oshin Sahakian, Arsalan Kazemi, Mohammad Jamshidi and Asghar Kardoust. Youngsters that figure to be in the Iran set-up for years to come that will also be present include Behnam Yakhchali, who turns 21 on 12 July, Sajjad Mashayekhi (22), Sedighi Amir (turns 23 on 16 July) and Arman Zangeneh (23).
Yakhchali has already played significant minutes for Iran at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and at last year's FIBA Asia Championship. Iran will play at the OQT against Greece and Mexico in Group A while Croatia, Italy and Tunisia will be in Group B. Only the winner of the event will qualify for the Olympics. Iran went into last summer having won three of the previous four FIBA Asia Championships. They finished third in Changsha-Hunan behind China and the Philippines. They nevertheless showed plenty of skill and determination under coach Bauermann. Iran will be underdogs in Turin. Everyone knows that, including Iran themselves. "Our team is in good shape at the moment but we have a difficult task ahead of us," Iran Basketball Federation president Mahmoud Mashhoun said to the Mehr news agency, as reported in the Tehran Times. "I don't expect to qualify for the Olympics but on the other hand, I believe that nothing is impossible." No matter what happens, Iran's younger players will gain invaluable experience. "We have invited some young players to the national team," Mashhoun said. "I believe that our young players have a bright future. Regardless of the results in the tournaments, they will gain experience and show their capabilities in the next competitions."
Jilin Northeast Tigers (CBA) signed 34-year old Iranian ex-international point guard Mahdi Kamrani (181-78kg-82). He is not a newcomer in China as he played last season at North Control Beijing (CBA). In 34 games he had very impressive stats: 19.3ppg, 4.6rpg, 6.5apg and 2.8spg. The previous (14-15) season Kamrani played at another Chinese team Jiangsu Tongxi. In 35 CBA games he recorded also remarkable stats: 16.4ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.2apg and 2.8spg. In 2013-14 Kamrani spent at Petrochimi (Supe... [read more]
Jilin Northeast Tigers (CBA) signed 34-year old Iranian ex-international point guard Mahdi Kamrani (181-78kg-82). He is not a newcomer in China as he played last season at North Control Beijing (CBA). In 34 games he had very impressive stats: 19.3ppg, 4.6rpg, 6.5apg and 2.8spg. The previous (14-15) season Kamrani played at another Chinese team Jiangsu Tongxi. In 35 CBA games he recorded also remarkable stats: 16.4ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.2apg and 2.8spg. In 2013-14 Kamrani spent at Petrochimi (Superleague) in Iran. In 33 games he recorded 14.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.6apg and 2.9spg. He helped them to win the league title. Quite impressive season as he was named to Asia-Basket.com All-Iranian Superleague 1st Team and Honorable Mention. Kamrani also played at Foolad Mahan in Iranian league that season. In 6 Asian Club Championships games he recorded high stats: 20.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.8apg and 2.2spg in 2013-14 season. He represented Iran at the Asian Championships in Changsha-Hunan (China) last year. Kamrani's team won Bronze and his stats at that event were 9 games: 8.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-5 (2.0spg), FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 60.0%. Kamrani has played previously for two other Iranian teams: Paykan and Saba. He could be described:
An experienced PG, with court vision, passing skills and good defensive attitude. Can score if left open, has great leadership, he could also be effective at uppper level. are ready to play in Europe.
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.