It is often said that if there is one thing a basketball coach can't teach, it is height. To that end, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has secured another player who can give the Buckeyes an added presence with his stature.
In a press release, the Buckeyes announced that Zisis Sarikopoulos, a 7-0, 265-pound center originally from Athens, Greece, will transfer into the program from the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Sarikopoulos, who averaged 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game as a freshman in 20 starts, has international experience to his credit after leading the Greece Under-18 team to a second-place finish in the 2007 Euro Championships. During the championships, Sarikopoulos averaged 7.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks for his squad.
He also helped his club team, Olympiakos B.C., to a second-place finish in the country, posting 20 points and 16 rebounds per game in doing so.
“Zisis will give us a physical presence and some size,” Matta said in a statement. “We have a year to work with him on getting stronger and learning our system. He entered college at only 17 years old. He will help immediately in practice. We are excited about his decision to join our program.”
To satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Sarikopoulos will have to sit out the 2008-09 season but will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
His addition means the Buckeyes now have a full contingent of 13 scholarship players.