Former Rice star Arsalan Kazemi told SI.com that he’s likely to decide on a transfer destination by the end of the week, and that while he’s considering a number of options, Oregon and Kentucky are his “early leaders.” The senior power forward said he intends to petition the NCAA for a hardship waiver to play in 2012-13 rather than sitting out a transfer year, but declined to specify the grounds of the waiver request. Kazemi received his release from Rice on Monday — news that was first reported by CBSSports.com — and asked permission to speak with Cincinnati, Florida, Ohio State and Texas in addition to the Ducks and Wildcats. He said that list could potentially expand in the coming days. Kazemi, who in 2009 became the first native Iranian to play Division I basketball, and is a member of Iran’s senior national team, averaged 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds as a junior for the Owls. He was expected to be a Conference USA Player of the Year candidate as a senior.