Oregon received great news today with the NCAA declaring Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi will be able to play immediately. Kazemi, a 6’7 senior power forward, averaged 12.6 points and 10.1 rebounds in his first three years at Rice. Those totals led the Owls in points and rebounds the last two seasons.
Kazemi transferred to Oregon in September, one of six Rice players to transfer this season. 7’2″ Center Omar Oraby, Kazemi’s roommate at Rice, was recently cleared at USC after transferring as well. Transfers are usually required to sit out a year.
Before the Ducks practice yesterday, Kazemi wasn’t cleared yet, but head coach Dana Altman stated, “If we get the waiver, he’ll play right away.”
Kazemi was the first born Iranian player to play Division-1 basketball. After being named to the second-team Conference USA team the past two seasons, Kazemi was a preseason conference USA player of the year before transferring to Oregon.
Kazemi will help the Ducks vastly in all aspects of the game. He is an athletic forward with a nose for the ball on the defensive end. Kazemi will add to the Ducks depth in the front court, a front court that includes Tony Woods, Waverly Austin, Austin Kuemper and Ben Carter.
In their opening two games, the Ducks have struggled defensively and Kazemi should contribute immediately. 6’11” starting Center, Woods, is a below average rebounder for his size, averaging 4.5 rebounds in the two games this season. Against undersized Northern Arizona and Portland State, the Ducks have only outrebounded their opponents by a margin of 17 rebounds.
“The fans will love his energy and effort,” Oregon said in a statement on Twitter.
The Ducks will face their first test of the season this Friday with Vanderbilt at home.