Iona has gifted this season with an influx of transfers seen only by the likes of USC on any level — low, mid or high major — this season.
With as many as six eligible transfers this season, the Gaels were going to need all of them to make for the loss of players like Michael Glover and Scott Machado, who led the nation in assists last season.
That number of eligible transfers won’t get any bigger this season. Incoming freshman Norvel Pelle is unlikely to suit up this year, according to Adam Zagoria.
Pelle, a former St. John’s commitment, has been in limbo with his eligibility all season and as far back as the beginning of last season when he was supposed to enroll with the Red Storm. The 7-footer has yet to be cleared by the NCAA and it doesn’t look likely that it will happen anytime soon.
A source told SNY.tv that it all comes down to paperwork.
“He hasn’t been cleared by the NCAA,” a source close to the Iona basketball team told SNY.tv following Rutgers’ 81-73 victory over Iona at Madison Square Garden. “He went to so many schools, they’re still probably trying to track down his paperwork.”
Pelle is not currently on the Iona campus and he isn’t on the team’s official roster.
Iona has been average all season without Pelle, so there’s no reason to believe this affects the Gaels and coach Tim Cluess in any way. It would’ve improved the team’s post presence, but Pelle may never find his way to a college campus. He spent time at a number of schools, including a prep year, so if he hasn’t found a home 18 months into what was supposed to be his college career, it’s tough to believe it’ll happen at all.
David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.