St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin will have one more player at his disposal today when the Red Storm take on Murray State in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic on Friday, as junior wing Marco Bourgault has been ruled eligible by the NCAA.
The news was first reported by The Torch, which is the student newspaper at St. John’s, and Bourgault was reportedly in class when he received the good news.
A student at St. John’s gave a first hand account of what he saw transpire in his Tuesday morning class in Sullivan Hall around 10:50 am.
“He raised his hand during class, stated he had been cleared and that he needed to leave immediately,” the student said. “He said he needed to get to South Carolina.”
Bourgault being cleared pushes the number of available scholarship players for the Red Storm to nine, with the staff looking to redshirt senior power forward God’sgift Achiuwa and still awaiting word on the status of forward Orlando Sanchez.
Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch will become eligible for game action at the end of the fall semester.
Bourgault and Sanchez both attended Monroe College (NY) last season, with the Saint-Malo, France native averaging 10.8 points per game. Bourgault is a very good perimeter shooter as he knocked down 42% of his shots from deep at Monroe in 2011-12. And he’ll fit in with the Red Storm given the number of slashers at Lavin’s disposal.
The match-up with Murray State isn’t scheduled to tip until 5:30 PM EST, and according to Marc Raimondi of the New York Post Bourgault is expected to arrive in Charleston at around 4 PM EST.
Photo credit: St. John’s University
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.