Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Derrick Caracter’s next stop appears to be Southern Mississippi.
Louisville sent his release to Southern Miss on Wednesday and the 6-foot-9, 270-pound Caracter could enroll in classes next week.
“The release has been sent to them (Southern Miss),” a source close to the situation said. “They have permission to contact him and speak with him. They’re pretty much recruiting him, so to speak. They have inquired for his release and it’s been granted. He’d have to sit out a year.”
“All is know is that there were talks that he could be transferring here, but as of (Thursday) night he hadn’t,” SMU spokesman Timothy Andrzejewski said. “The compliance department has to look everything over.” He added that Caracter was not on campus as of Friday morning.
Caracter had considered NAIA national champ Oklahoma City University, but that option now appears dead in the water, perhaps because OCU coach Tommy Wade make take a job under Travis Ford at Oklahoma State. Caracter would not have had to sit out a year if he made that move.
Stacy Brooks, a professor in the Pan-African Studies Department at Louisville who has become an adviser to Caracter, said Caracter had been in the process of getting his paperwork from Louisville together so he could transfer.
“He’s dealing with the paperwork on that right now,” Brooks said. “He’s trying to get all the courses accounted for in the spring and summer that he can. I’m sure his intention is to expedite his eligibility so he can have as many credits as he possibly can.
“I don’t know if the NCAA has a waiver process (to play next year). I’m sure that that’s what he’s trying to do. If not, then he’s going to sit out a year and then play the following year.”
Louisville coach Rick Pitino initially offered Caracter a chance to return for the 2009-10 season if he met various weight and academic requirements. After initially accepting the offer, Caracter decided against it and looked for options to play either next year or the year after.
This Southern Mississippi development is the latest in the long, up-and-down saga of Caracter, who was projected as an NBA player in the eighth grade, but hasn’t grown physically since. He attended various high schools, and now appears to be following his transient pattern in college.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.