To the extent that the Manhattan Jaspers will be able to defend their 2014 MAAC tournament championship may depend on whether they get a waiver for Cincinnati transfer Jermaine Lawrence.
“Absolutely,” Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello said when asked if they are planning on applying for a waiver for Lawrence. “That’s why he came home.”
Masiello said that the school is in the process of preparing a waiver for the Lawrence, who transferred from Cincinnati to be closer to home to his father who is sick.
He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after averaging 2.8 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game in 26 games. During the season, he missed eight games in the months of January and February with a toe injury.
Lawrence committed to the school in late May, when Masiello was away on unpaid leave, but there was plenty of familiarity between the staff and their newest player.
“Rasheen did a phenomenal job of getting that done,” Masiello said referring to assistant Rasheen Davis. “[He] did a terrific job in closing that.”
Masiello said that he recruited Lawrence out of high school when he was at Lousiville. During that time Lawrence attended Cardozo High School in Queens until his junior season when he left for Pope John XXIII in Sparta, New Jersey.
The Jaspers won 25 games last season, the most since 2004, reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since that season when they defeated Florida in the first round.
Ryan Restivo covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.