According to a report from Q30 Sports, the NCAA has ruled Quinnipiac junior college transfer Giovanni McLean academically ineligible to participate in basketball activities for the remainder of the season.
In a statement obtained by Q30, Quinnipiac vice president for public affairs Lynn Bushnell states:
The NCAA has granted a partial waiver supporting the university’s decision to allow Giovanni McLean to continue his studies at the university for the remainder of this academic year. He, however, will remain prohibited from practicing and playing with the basketball team for the rest of this season.
McLean was originally ruled ineligible for the Fall 2014 semester pending the results of a further NCAA inquiry into the fake transcript scandal at Westchester Community College.
Prior to the season, head coach Tom Moore was excited about the value McLean would add to a team that lost veteran guards Umar and Shaq Shannon last year.
“He brings that extra experience playing at a real high junior college level to the backcourt,” Moore said this offseason. “I really like his toughness and demeanor on the court. He plays like a veteran and I think he’s going to help us offensively a great deal. Certainly he’ll be a great replacement for some of the stuff we lost with Umar and Shaq.”
In lieu of that veteran experience in the backcourt, Moore has had to roll with less experienced players for the majority of the year. However, freshman guard Ayron Hutton has recently emerged as a playmaker in the Bobcats’ backcourt, taking care of the passing and shooting duties McLean was brought in to do.
“We struggled a little at the point guard position and I stepped in and I’m just trying to get everyone good shots,” Hutton said on his play at the point. “Ousmane [Drame], Zaid [Hearst] – I’ve got a lot of good scorers around me so they make my job easier by making shots, so I just try to get them the ball.”
Over the Bobcats’ last three games, Hutton is averaging 11.3 ppg and 4.7 apg while shooting 45% from the floor and 43% from 3-point range. The 6’3″ freshman won MAAC Rookie of the Week award on Monday.
McLean was originally headed to Big 12 power Oklahoma this offseason before a conference rule which would have forced him to sit out the year led him to shift his commitment to Quinnipiac.
“Quinnipiac originally was going to be my first choice, but I always wanted to play on a bigger stage,” McLean said this offseason. “I obviously wanted to go to the highest level that there is in college basketball, but that didn’t work out because of a Big 12 rule, so Quinnipiac was my next best choice. I loved it here and it’s the best choice I’ve ever made in my life.”
Ultimately, McLean was not able to escape that year of waiting. The only difference is he has done the waiting in Bobcat gold, not Sooner Crimson.
Vincent Simone covers Quinnipiac, the MAAC, and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow him on Twitter @VTSimone.