The NCAA giveth, and the NCAA taketh away. This is unfortunately an example of the latter. Per Bearcat Journal’s Chad Brendel, freshman power forward Jamaree Strickland will not be permitted to join the team this season. He will instead sit out and rejoin the Bearcats next year.
Hearing the waiver for Jamaree Strickland to practice this season has been denied by the NCAA. He will join the team next season.
— Chad Brendel (@ChadBrendel) December 20, 2013
With over one-quarter of the season gone, it was probably unlikely that Strickland would have been granted his waiver anyways. But this announcement confirms it. For the rest of the team, this only puts more pressure on Justin Jackson to lock down the low post. While Strickland is just a freshman, he would have at the very least provided a warm body for Mick Cronin to spell JJ every now and then in the frontcourt. Given Cincinnati’s lack of depth at that position, if Strickland had given UC meaningful minutes in the low post, it would have been icing on the cake.
But obviously all of that is out the window now.
The silver lining is that Strickland can continue to develop himself mentally and physically this winter to prepare for next season, where he should be the front runner to start. Cincinnati will have a wealth of talented but young players operating in the low post in 2014. In addition to Strickland, Quadri Moore and Coreontae DeBerry should vastly upgrade the talent of Cincinnati’s frontcourt next year. It’s just a shame that none of those three can play this season.