Oregon nabs Rice transfer Kazemi

While the Oregon Ducks were busy hosting some of their top football targets over the weekend, Dana Altman and the basketball program added an important piece to their program.

After leaving Rice with one year of eligibility remaining, forward Arsalan Kazemi chose Oregon as the program where he will spend his final season. The 6-foot-7 Kazemi averaged 10.3 points and 9.1 rebounds as a freshman, 15.2 points and 11 rebounds as a sophomore, and 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds last season.

Kazemi was reportedly eyeing Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Florida, Texas and others. In the end, Oregon was the choice for Kazemi, who was named All-Conference USA the past two seasons.

Kazemi, the first Iranian to play college basketball in the United States, must appeal for a hardship waiver in order to join the Ducks for the upcoming season. If the request is not granted, he will be forced to sit out the 2012-13 season and will be able to join the team on the court in 2013-14.

If he is granted a waiver from the NCAA, Kazemi will be a huge addition to a program that has made a living out of finding one-year transfer players as Dana Altman tries to balance out the roster. With the addition of 6-foot-11 Waverly Austin and Kazemi, the Ducks have gone from being desperate for help in the paint to having it possibly be the strength of the team.