Damien Wilson was in class at Kennesaw State today when his coach texted him to let him know that the NCAA had ruled on his waiver.
Wilson was eligible to play immediately this season. His response?
Wilson is a 6-foot-6 wing that was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. He spent the past two seasons at Memphis, where he averaged just 5.8 minutes in 43 games before transferring out of the program. The Owls will be relying heavily on the Atlanta native this season, as they won just six games a season ago and finished 3-15 in league play.
Wilson has two seasons left to play.
Just under two weeks ago, 6-foot-5 guard Damien Wilson made the decision to transfer from Memphis after playing sparingly in his first two seasons as a Tiger. The Atlanta native has reportedly found a new school, with Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com reporting Wednesday that Wilson has decided to transfer to Kennesaw State. After sitting out the 2014-15 season per NCAA transfer rules, Wilson would have two years of eligibility remaining.
Wilson played in just 43 games during his two years at Memphis, playing an average of 5.8 minutes per game. His best offensive outing as a Tiger came during his sophomore season, as he scored nine points in Memphis’ season-opening win over Austin Peay. Wilson’s a very good athlete who was rated amongst the top 20 shooting in the Class of 2012 by Rivals.com.
He joins a program now led by head coach Jimmy Lallathin, who took over as interim head coach for Lewis Preston in early January with the interim tag being removed shortly after the end of the 2013-14 season.
The Owls, who finished the 2013-14 season with a 6-25 record (3-15 Atlantic Sun), return three of their top four scorers from last season led by senior guard Delbert Love. Kennesaw State recently completed a summer trip to Italy, where they won three of the four games they played.
With the loss of four key seniors from their backcourt of a season ago, the Memphis Tigers have some questions to answer on the perimeter this summer. Fortunately for head coach Josh Pastner the program has a summer trip to Canada to help with the on-court chemistry of a group that doesn’t have a lot of experience at the Division I level.
One player who entered the summer hoping to compete for more minutes was rising junior shooting guard Damien Wilson, who played just under six minutes per game in his first two seasons as a Tiger. However on Friday it was announced by the school that Wilson has decided to transfer.
“Damien is in good academic standing at the University, but he shared with me that he’d like a fresh start,” Pastner said in the release. “We support Damien and wish him all the best.”
In two seasons at Memphis the Atlanta native played in 41 games, with 15 of those coming in his sophomore year. Last season Wilson played 19 minutes in the Tigers’ season-opening win over Austin Peay and 20 in a loss at Oklahoma State, a game in which he scored eight points. But he would play in just 13 games the remainder of the season, reaching double digits in minutes just once.
While Memphis may not have a lot of experience on the perimeter they don’t lack for bodies, with three junior college transfers and freshmen Pookie Powell (redshirted last season) and Dominic Magee joining returnees Markel Crawford (missed all of last season), Kuran Iverson and Nick King. That may have impacted Wilson’s thought process with regards to how much of an increase in minutes he could expect to see in 2014-15.