News broke last night that Demetrius Walker had been suspended indefinitely from the New Mexico basketball team for what is being termed a violation of team rules.
“I won’t say anymore about it,” head coach Steve Alford told the Albuquerque Journal. “I want to protect him obviously. It’s an indefinite suspension and we’ll just see how it plays out the rest of the year.”
It will be a blow to the Lobos’ depth, but in recent weeks Walker’s playing time has been cut. He hasn’t played in the last four games as freshman Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas has passed him on the depth chart. Walker is a fourth-year junior having redshirted during the 2010-2011 season after transferring in from Arizona State. If he graduates in May, he can transfer to another Division I program for his senior season without having to sit out a year.
“Losing a teammate like that for me personally is tough and I think collectively we’re going to have to come together and try to move on,” Kendall Williams, who is close with Walker, said. “Getting ready for Vegas, you have to lock in your mind. I don’t think I’d be telling the truth if you said you didn’t feel for D-Walk and that the team’s not going to feel it.”
Anyone that knows Walker’s history will agree with that. As a 14 year old, Walker was put on the cover of Sports Illustrated and touted as the next hoops phenom. But, as was chronicled in the terrific book Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann, Walker was taken advantage of throughout his teenage years, forgotten and neglected when the 6-foot-3 14 year old never was still 6-foot-3 as a 17 year old.
Even from afar, it’s tough to watch Walker’s career take another heart-breaking turn for the worse.
The good news?
He should still get his degree, which is more important than anything else at this point, and he still has another year to play.
One can only hope he’ll find success as a hooper wherever he winds up for that season.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.
He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.
Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.
The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.
Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.
SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.
South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.
The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.
Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.
A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.
Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.
Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.
Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.
Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.