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.
Florida’s Carter, Pitt’s Randall ‘Expected’ to Receive NCAA Waivers to Play Immediately
Eli Carter and Derrick Randall are “expected” to receive waivers to play immediately at Florida and Pittsburgh, respectively, following their transfers from Rutgers, an NCAA source told SNY.tv Wednesday.
“They are expected to go through once we have the official paperwork from the respective schools,” the source told SNY.tv.
The source confirmed that Rutgers transfer Vincent Garrett had received a waiver to play immediately at Wisconsin-Green Bay.
All told, four former Mike Rice players are expected to suit up for their new schools in the 2013-14 season, as SNY.tv first reported that Mike Poole had received a waiver to play this year at Iona.
The 6-foot-2 Carter averaged 14.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists before fracturing his right fibula in mid-February against DePaul.
Carter, who will have two years at Florida, could provide a boost similar to what former Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario ultimately achieved in his senior season.
Florida lost Rosario and Kenny Boynton, while Scottie Wilbekin is suspended indefinitely. The Gators return Michael Frazier and bring in Kasey Hill, a dynamic five-star point guard who played with Frazier at Montverde (FL) Academy.
“With Wilbekin being down, Eli brings experience to the backcout,” Sports U coach Brian Coleman previously told SNY.tv.
“He also brings a toughness and an ability to score from beyond the arc and get in the lane. I’m looking forward to watching Eli grow as a player under coach [Billy] Donovan].”
The 6-8 Randall averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds as a sophomore at Rutgers and will provide a big body in the frontcourt as Pitt transitions to the ACC.
Echoing comments grassroots basketball legend Sonny Vaccaro told SNY.tv, St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley previously told SNY.tv he expected that all the Rutgers transfers would get waivers to play right away considering the extenuating circumstances of the Mike Rice firing.
“I think the NCAA would give these kids eligibility,” said Hurley, who coached by Carter and current Rutgers point guard Myles Mack.
Meantime, two players who transferred into Rutgers — Iowa State guard Kerwin Okoro and Pitt wing J.J. Moore — may not be able to suit up this season.
Okoro was denied his hardship waiver, sources confirmed to SNY.tv., despite losing both his brother and father last year.
Still, the NCAA source said the case was “still ongoing,” meaning it’s possible Okoro could ultimately get the waiver.
“I think it’s crazy,” Okoro’s AAU coach, Abdu-Allah Torrence, told The New York Post regarding the denial of the waiver. “It was hard on the whole family. The biggest [reason for coming home] was being a support system for his mom.”
Rutgers has yet to hear word on Moore’s waiver.
They are also awaiting word on the eligibility of commit Junior Etou, leaving Rutgers with 11 players at the moment, only nine of whom are on scholarship.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.