KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Cincinnati transfers Aziz Bandaogo and Jamille Reynolds had waivers rejected by the NCAA last week, prompting the Bearcats to file an appeal in hopes of getting both cleared to play when the college basketball season begins in a few weeks.
Bandaogo played two seasons at Akron before spending last season at Utah Valley, where the 7-footer from Senegal averaged 11.5 points and 10.4 rebounds. Reynolds spent his first two seasons with UCF which, like the Bearcats, is joining the Big 12 this season, before averaging 10.1 points in his lone season at Temple.
The NCAA has strict guidelines when it comes to players transferring a second time, a topic that has angered some coaches.
“We’re very discouraged by the news last week,” Miller said Wednesday. “I think the issue at hand here is we have two players, and there are others out there, that were given guidance when they were making life decisions last spring to transfer, and given guidance from the NCAA on a path to play. They felt like they met those guidelines. We feel as strongly as you can possibly express that they met those guidelines and standards that were laid out by the NCAA.”
Miller declined to get into the details behind the players’ decisions to transfer. But their cases appear to be similar to that of North Carolina wide receiver Devontez Walker, who was denied a waiver to play this season before a high-profile spat involving the university, the NCAA and even politicians ensued.
Two weeks ago, the NCAA reversed course citing new information provided by the school and granted Walker, who joined the Tar Heels after time at North Carolina Central and Kent State, a waiver for immediate eligibility.
“I know the situations for them deeply,” Miller said of his own transfers. “I have hope through the appeals process they will be cleared. I expect them to be cleared. But I am concerned. I’m concerned how that will affect them. Certainly, it will affect our team, but how will it affect their mental health? That concerns me on a much deeper level.”
BYU is also awaiting an NCAA decision on Marcus Adams Jr, who briefly committed to Gonzaga after leaving Kansas and wound up with the Cougars. In his case, the move from Gonzaga to BYU took place after the transfer portal deadline.
“We won’t know about his eligibility this season for a while,” Cougars coach Mark Pope said. “But we’re certainly hopeful.”
Baylor will be moving into some new digs about the time conference play rolls around: Foster Pavilion, which is currently under construction near McClane Stadium, is set to open the first week of January.
The Bears have played in the Ferrell Center since 1988, but their new $185 million building will provide more amenities in a more intimate setting. The Ferrell Center seats more than 10,000 fans for basketball, and many seats are far from the court; Foster Pavilion will have about 7,000 seats with fans closer to the action.
“Home-court advantage is so important in the Big 12,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team plans to move in for its Jan. 2 game against Cornell. “One of the best things the state of Texas in general has done is made newer, smaller arenas to make sure the fans were more on top of you, instead of spread out like the bigger arenas. We should have the same thing.”
HEY, I KNOW YOU
Grant McCasland and Tylor Perry helped lead North Texas to the NIT championship last season. Now, McCasland will be tasked with finding a way to shut down his former leading scorer when they see each other in the Big 12.
After six years leading the Mean Green, McCasland was hired to replace Mark Adams at Texas Tech, where he got his start as a director of basketball operations more than 20 years ago. Following him out the door was Perry, who averaged 17.3 points, and who decided to transfer to Kansas State and test himself in the nation’s toughest conference.
“It’ll be fun. He’s around here somewhere,” Perry said of McCasland, who brought assistants Matt Braeuer and Achoki Moikobu along to Texas Tech. “We know each other very well. It’ll be a very bittersweet moment. I’m excited about that matchup.”
CHARGE ME UP
The NCAA rules committee has made it challenging for players to draw a charging foul this season, addressing what has long been one of the most difficult and controversial calls for officials to make.
Curtis Shaw, the Big 12 coordinator of officials, said defenders must beat offensive players to spots and be set far earlier than in years past. Once in position, they are instructed to be physical, maintain position, go vertical and not fall to the floor.
“In my 35 years, there’s probably never been a rules year more important than this one,” Shaw said. “The rules committee really made a big stand to change a rule, and an interpretation of a rule, that has been around forever.”
To put it simply, Shaw said, the “default” call going forward will be blocking. When officials examined 100 plays from last season that were deemed to be charging fouls, all but four of them would be called blocking fouls this season.
“It’s almost impossible to take a legal charge now,” Shaw said. “Not impossible. Almost impossible.”
Get poll alerts and updates on the AP Top 25 Basketball Polls throughout the season. Sign up here
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball