Oklahoma State got some potentially damaging news this week as starting swingman Brian Williams is dealing with an injury to his wrist.
He’s “is pretty seriously hurt right now,” Ford said at Big 12 media day. “[He] will be out for a while, and that does not help our basketball team as far as rebounding. Brian Williams was one of the more athletic players in our league – 6-5, he was playing the three-four for us. He’s out for a while. We’re not sure how long yet.”
The reason this news matters for the Pokes is that one of their better players, JP Olukemi, is dealing with an eligibility issue and has not yet been cleared to play the entire season.
It’s an issue that stems from some unfortunate advice he was given before he made it to Stillwater. From NewsOK.com:
After Stoneridge Preparatory closed its doors midway through the year, the school’s coaches suggested Olukemi and his teammates take classes at nearby Riverside Junior College in California.
He never played basketball there, instead going to a junior college in Indiana to start his college hoops career before transferring to Oklahoma State after one season.
But those initial junior college classes, without his knowledge, started his eligibility clock. That was five years ago next semester.
It seems like a slam-dunk case. Olukemi is only asking for an extra semester, which, coincidentally, is the amount of time he missed at the end of last season after he tore his ACL. And a similar case involving Marshall’s Dennis Tinnon is a good sign for Olukemi. Tinnon also started his college clock early unintentionally, and was awarded an extra year of eligibility this summer.
But a slam-dunk case in common-sense doesn’t always mean that the NCAA will rule in the player’s favor.
Until then, Oklahoma State will be left to wonder just what their roster is going to look like this spring.