Report: Junior college transfer Waverly Austin won’t be a USF Bull

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With point guard Anthony Collins and wing Victor Rudd Jr. being two of the key players returning to Tampa, the USF Bulls are more than capable of returning to the NCAA tournament.

But unfortunately for head coach Stan Heath that goal became a little tougher to achieve with 6-11, 275-pound junior college center Waverly Austin being declared ineligible by the school.

As first reported by Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the issue isn’t NCAA eligibility as the Fredricksburg, Virginia product was academically cleared by the NCAA.

The problem is that all of the credits Austin earned at Palm Beach State College, despite earning his associate’s degree, were not accepted by USF.

With the Bulls losing forwards Augustus Gilchrist and Ron Anderson Jr., Austin was expected not only to add depth inside but likely end up being the Bulls’ starter in the middle as well.

Austin helped lead Palm Beach State College to a 26-5 record last season, averaging 14.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots per game.

Luckily for the Bulls they’ve got Toarlyn Fitzpatrick back this season, and there’s also 6-8 FAU transfer Kore White to consider.

It remains to be seen what 7-3 redshirt freshman Jordan Omogbehin can give them, but he may be more “project” than “key contributor” right now.

As for where Austin may be headed now it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was playing major college basketball somewhere this season.

The question of what credits from another school, be it a 2-year or 4-year institution, get accepted varies from institution to institution and that’s not something the NCAA has an impact on.

Photo credit: Palm Beach State College

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Skal Labissiere has not been cleared by the NCAA

Kelly Kline/Under Armour
Kelly Kline/Under Armor
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While the timeline surrounding Cheick Diallo’s eligibility has made headlines for months now, another elite recruit at a blue blood program is still awaiting word on whether or not he will be allowed to play college basketball this season.

Kentucky center Skal Labissiere, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015 and a potential No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has not yet been cleared to play this season. His guard, Gerald Hamilton, confirmed as much to ESPN earlier today.

“Not yet,” Hamilton said. “We’re just trying to get everything squared away. They are asking a few questions.

“They haven’t cleared him, but we’re sticking with our faith. There’s no real concern about anything from the Kentucky compliance people.”

Labissiere has more red flags than you can count, almost all of them pertaining to Hamilton. It was the worst kept secret in high school basketball that Hamilton more or less had Labissiere for sale. It’s why he played three different AAU programs and two different high schools in four years. Hamilton runs a non-profit called Reach Your Dream and, after a transfer rendered him ineligible for his senior high school season, Labissiere played for a team called ‘Reach Your Dream Prep’, which Hamilton founded simply to ensure Labissiere had a place to play.

Here’s how summarized things back in November:

Multiple coaches who have recruited Labissiere told Hamilton either directly indicated or strongly suggested pursuing Labissiere would mostly be a waste of time if they couldn’t offer assistance in helping fund his foundation. One coach from a prominent staff said: “We couldn’t even get in the door.” Another added: “We recognized what it was about early on and decided not to get involved.”

In other words, no one is surprised that the NCAA is looking into Labissiere’s situation, and it’s not hard to look at Kentucky bringing in Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard as a sign that they’re not completely certain that Labissiere will make it through this. The surprise is in how quiet that investigation has been over the course of the last few months.

The shame in all of this is that Labissiere is a sweet kid with an incredible back-story. He survived the devastating earthquake in Haiti despite having a house collapse on him. If he can get through this investigation, he’ll easily be one of the biggest and most likeable stars in the sport this season.

Xavier commit to enroll early, redshirt

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Getty Images
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Xavier landed a commitment on Wednesday from four-star big man Eddie Ekiyor, a source confirmed to

Ekiyor, who picked the Musketeers over Miami and Florida, is a borderline top 100 recruit. He’s an athletic, 6-foot-8 post that shouldn’t have an issue adjusting to the pace and physicality of the game, although he needs to continue to develop offensively to be more than a catch-and-dunk big man down the road.

In other words, on paper, Ekiyor isn’t much different from the majority of high major big men. But what’s different about this situation is that Ekiyor will be enrolling at Xavier for the start of the spring semester, technically making him a member of the Class of 2015. Xavier won’t be rushing him through the process — he’ll redshirt the second half of the 2015-16 season — but getting him on campus early will allow him an extra six months of learning the Xavier system, developing in collegiate practices and working out with the Xavier strength coaches.

That should help him limit the adjustment phase as he transitions from high school. That’s important for the Musketeers, because there’s a chance that they could lose their starting front line — James Farr (graduation) and Jalen Reynolds (early entry) — after this season.