Friday, September 27, 2013
3-point shot: Hamilton officially at UCLA
By Andy Katz
1. UCLA made it official with a press release on Thursday that former UTEP signee Isaac Hamilton is on scholarship and enrolled for fall classes. But the release wasn't clear about if he was going to play this season. There was a reason for that omission. According to multiple sources, UCLA has moved on a waiver for Hamilton to play this season. The Miners didn't release Hamilton from his National Letter of Intent and his appeal to the NLI was denied. UCLA is still holding out hope Hamilton could be cleared. The 6-foot-5 Hamilton is prepared to sit and the stated purpose of leaving UTEP for UCLA was to be close to his ailing grandmother. UCLA coach Steve Alford said the versatile guard would fit in well with the Bruins. He would. UCLA needs another potential scorer and someone with length on the perimeter. Hamilton averaged 23.5 points last season for St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, Calif. If Hamilton were to get eligible, then the Bruins would add depth in October to a position that desperately needs it.
2. Memphis doesn't open the season until Nov. 14, which means the Tigers can't start practicing Friday like many of the schools that open the season Nov. 8. That's fine with coach Josh Pastner. He wants to manage the preseason grind while pushing his guys, but knows he needs to preserve them some for later in the year. He said the Tigers will start practicing Oct. 3 and within the first week he will give the Tigers a three-day weekend off. He said he remembered his former coach, Arizona's Lute Olson, building in a three-day break for the Wildcats to avoid preseason burnout. The Tigers will have a veteran team entering the American Conference, especially on the perimeter, and the maturity with the team should lend itself well to handling a spread out practice schedule early in the preseason.
3. Credit new Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan for his patience. He didn't overreact to the potential thin roster when he took over. He collected some transfers, but all with a story to tell, and waited out the waiver process. And it worked. Rutgers found out Thursday Pitt transfer J.J. Moore was eligible immediately. That came on the heels of Iowa State transfer Kerwin Okoro getting his waiver. Jerome Seagears was allowed to come back to Rutgers after a brief spring stint at Auburn without any penalty. The Scarlet Knights now have the depth to be competitive and an intriguing team in the American Conference before moving to the Big Ten.