College basketball transfer waivers: Kentucky’s Olivier Sarr, Texas Tech’s Mac McClung among those waiting


NCAA rule changes are expected to arrive as early the 2021-22 academic year that would allow all athletes the opportunity to transfer once without sitting out a season. For now, athletes in basketball, football, baseball and hockey are still technically required to sit out for a year if they transfer to another Division I school.

But many college basketball players who transferred after the 2019-20 season are seeking waivers from the NCAA that would allow them to play immediately at their new schools. Some of those waivers have been approved and some are pending. In other cases, players have opted not to apply for a waiver and will instead sit out the season while retaining the year of eligibility.

Here are the waiver statuses for the top 20 traditional transfers of the 2020 recruiting class.

Immediate eligibility waivers pending

Olivier Sarr | Kentucky

The former Wake Forest big man is awaiting word from the NCAA about whether he’ll be eligible. He’s on record saying he won’t stick around in the college game if he has to sit out. Sarr would be a huge addition for a Kentucky team that will be heavily reliant on freshmen.

LJ Figueroa | Oregon

Figueroa led St. John’s in scoring as a junior last season but is headed to Oregon for his final season of eligibility. The question is whether or not he will be eligible immediately. If he is, Figueroa could be the Ducks’ best perimeter defender.

Mac McClung | Texas Tech

McClung left Georgetown for Texas Tech after averaging 15.7 points for the Hoyas as a sophomore. He would be a key player for the Red Raiders if granted immediate eligibility. But even without him, Texas Tech should improve on last season’s 18-13 record.

Both Gach | Minnesota

The Utah transfer is from Minnesota, so perhaps that will help his case. The 6-6 wing still needs to develop consistency. But he had some big games last season while averaging 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

Chaundee Brown | Michigan 

The Wolverines took a couple hits when Josh Christopher spurned them for Arizona State and Isaiah Todd opted to join the G League Pathway Program. But getting Brown eligible would soften the sting of those misses and give Juwan Howard’s team solid depth.

DeAndre Williams | Memphis

It’s a good sign for Memphis that the NCAA approved a waiver for Virginia Tech transfer Landers Nolley, because Williams actually has a better case for immediate eligibility because of the upheaval he endured at Evansville last season. The stretch big would be a clutch addition to the Tigers’ front court.

Javon Freeman-Liberty | DePaul

Freeman-Liberty is transferring back to his hometown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So it would be surprising if his waiver is denied. The 6-3 guard averaged 19 points per game for Valparaiso as a sophomore last season and is also an excellent defender who would likely be an immediate starter for the Blue Demons.

Trey McGowens | Nebraska

The former Pittsburgh guard did a lot for the Panthers in his two seasons with the program. He averaged 11.5 points per game as a sophomore but also dished out 3.6 assists and snagged 1.9 steals per game. Nerbaska is in total overhaul mode entering year two of the Fred Hoiberg era, and getting McGowens eligible immediately would be a huge boost.

Jamarius Burton | Texas Tech

After two seasons as a key contributor at Wichita State, Burton should be ready to play a steady role for the Red raiders once he’s eligible.

Immediate eligibility approved

Liam Robbins | Minnesota

The Gophers are trying to replace star center Daniel Oturu. Doing so will be a lot easier with Robbins eligible immediately. The 7-footer played his first two seasons at Drake, where he blossomed into a star. He’ll be an immediate impact player for Richard Pitino’s squad.

Landers Nolley | Memphis

When Memphis lost freshman D.J. Jeffries to an injury midway through last season, it lost perhaps its most versatile wing. But with Nolley transferring in and gaining immediate eligibility and Jeffries returning, the Tigers will have two 6-7 small forwards capable of scoring at all three levels.

DJ Carton | Marquette

The Golden Eagles are going to look drastically different after the graduation of the Big East’s all-time leading scorer in Markus Howard. Getting Carton eligible immediately will help with the transition. The 6-2 guard showed great promise in 20 games as a freshman at Ohio State last season.

Alan Griffin | Syracuse

The Orange are replacing Elijah Hughes, who led the ACC in scoring. Griffin will help with that task after receiving a waiver for immediate eligibility. He averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in just 18.1 minutes per game as a sophomore at Illinois.

David Dejulius | Cincinnati 

DeJulius played a steady role off the bench for Michigan last season as a sophomore. Now he’ll be part of the cast tasked with replacing the production of departed star Jarron Cumberland at Cincinnati. 

Ty Brewer | ETSU

ETSU lost its head coach and most of its key contributors from last season’s 30-win team. That’s why getting Brewer eligible immediately was such good news for the Bucs. The 6-7 forward averaged 14.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game last season and hit 34.8% of his 3-pointers. He could be an immediate all-conference player.

Transfers sitting out

Andrew Nembhard | Gonzaga

After two seasons as Florida’s starting point guard, Nembhard will sit out the upcoming season at Gonzaga and have two seasons to play

Alex O’Connell | Creighton

The former Duke wing will sit out this season before using his final year of eligibility in 2021-22.

Luther Muhammad  | Arizona State

Muhammad will redshirt this season. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining after starting in the Ohio State back court as a freshman and sophomore.

Trey Murphy | Virginia

After two seasons at Rice, Murphy will sit out this year. At 6-8 and with a sweet 3-point shooting stroke, he could be a dangerous player in the ACC after he adds some muscle.

Adam Kunkel | Xavier

Kunkel will sit out this season after shining as a sophomore at Belmont. If his 3-point shooting translates to the Big East, he’ll be a force for the Musketeers in the future.

Note: Marcus Santos-Silva and Kobe King appeared on the original list of top-20 transfers. King initially signaled his intention to transfer from Wisconsin to Nebraska but is not playing for the Cornhuskers this season. His next basketball move has not been made public. Santos-Silva will be eligible immediately for Texas Tech after graduating from VCU in time to be considered a graduate transfer.





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