BY GEORGE ARTSITAS — Oregon and Dana Altman can now add “The Beast from the Middle East” to their arsenal in the front court.
Oregon added another big guy to their front court with Rice transfer and Iranian native Arsalan Kazemi. Kazemi, who is 6-7 and 220 lbs, has beautiful touch around the rim, can run the floor well and is physical enough to demand a presence in the front court. More importantly, he provides a proven sense of leadership — he was the captain of the U-19 Iranian national team.
Last season he averaged a double-double with 12.2 points and 10 rebounds a game at Rice. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but a very consistent addition if he averages a solid 29 minutes a game like he did last year. He also shows massive potential in his explosiveness and athleticism.
It’s up in the air if he’ll have to take a back seat this year because of NCAA transfer rules and be a red shirt or not, but we’ll keep you updated on that. The most intriguing part of this move is the fact the Kazemi is the first Iranian national team player to play in the NCAA. He seems like a very genuine guy and has a great back story. Get to know “The Beast,” he could be integral in the Ducks competing in the Pac-12 this season.