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Monday, July 16, 2012
3-point shot: UNLV set to file Smith appeal

By Andy Katz

1. UNLV has not filed an appeal to get a waiver for the immediate eligibility of UConn sophomore transfer forward Roscoe Smith. UNLV coach Dave Rice said the school needed additional information, but they plan to send as the appeal this week. Smith, who is in summer school at UNLV, wanted out of UConn to play small forward and attempt to play in the 2013 postseason after the Huskies were banned for poor APR scores. But the NCAA rule is clear on this issue: If a postseason ban equals the length of the remaining eligibility then the transfer can get a waiver and play immediately without sitting out a year (see Alex Oriakhi at Missouri). UConn will be watching this case closely. UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said in the spring that this wouldn't be interpreting the rule differently but rather changing it. He is right. This would be a precedent-setting decision.

2. St. John's head coach Steve Lavin said he expects all eight newcomers will be eligible in the fall. The Red Storm will have five returning players for a full load of 13. Lavin, who is cancer free and ready to resume coaching after taking most of last season off from the sideline, said he has signed 18 players in 28 months on the job. The Red Storm lost two players to transfers and one to the NBA draft and two players didn't qualify during Lavin's two years. In response to the 18 he has signed, Lavin said, "I believe I signed 20 or so kids in seven years as head coach at UCLA. It was seven years worth of recruiting in 28 months (at St. John's). It is so rewarding to walk into the weight room or gym and see 13 of our kids. It's hard to articulate." Lavin is convinced with 11 underclassmen he will have one of the youngest teams in the country and in St. John's history.

3. Keep an eye on an intriguing free agent. CBSSports.com reported that Boston University forward Jake O'Brien is leaving the Terriers after the America East decided against allowing BU to play for the NCAA automatic berth in the conference tournament. The Terriers are departing for the Patriot League in 2013. Sources told ESPN.com Sunday that O'Brien is looking at Providence, Boston College, Clemson, Purdue, Temple and a few others. O'Brien can play immediately by getting a waiver since he graduated. He would just have to be a grad student. O'Brien broke his foot and missed the last year-plus. The 6-foot-8 forward was the America East rookie of the year and a 13-point scorer as a sophomore before injuries befell him as a junior. O'Brien has the chance to be a scoring pop off the bench for any of these teams mentioned.