NCAA’s Stubbornness on Marcus Carr is Destroying the Gophers’ 2019 Season

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Now that I need a new TV, after throwing everything within reaching distance through my current one, during the 1st half of yesterday’s Gopher-Illini game; I’ve had some time to reflect in silence about one of the worst losses in Richard Pitino’s career at Minnesota.

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It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion for me since the loss (a rollercoaster with a lot of valleys and very few peaks).

At one point I was ready to force an Isaiah Washington transfer. How is a guy who was Mr. Basketball (New York) so bad now? How much better could Amir Coffey be if he played wing full-time? How much better would our team be?

I wondered why Gabe can’t shoot anymore….  why can’t anyone shoot? What happens when every team starts playing a trap zone on us from the tip? What happened to Jordan Murphy? He’s just forgotten how to play basketball all of a sudden? When will we see Eric Curry back to being NEAR full strength?

During one of the lowest of the lows, I even pondered the firing of Richard himself….

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via GIPHY

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It’s been a tough night.

Yet, I continue to come back to the same thing. Something that happened just as the season was starting, after weeks and weeks of waiting games, of course. Not only does this pre-season NCAA decision play into a lot of the Gophers’ problems, but it’s the direct cause of some.

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Marcus Carr transferred here from Pittsburgh this offseason, where his coach was fired after only getting two seasons to run the program. That’s somewhat of a rare occurrence in college basketball (and college football – just ask PJ Fleck about year 0 and 1).

Normally, you need to sit out one season after transferring to another school. Pitino and the Gophers requested a waiver that would allow Carr to play immediately, given the sudden change at Pitt that resulted in his transfer.

And, things looked good for a while because the NCAA seemed to be giving out transfer waivers like they were molly at Summerset. But in classic Minnesota fashion, the NCAA decided to stop that narrative with Marcus Carr. He was denied his waiver, he appealed, and that was denied a few days later. No matter who jumped to his defense, the NCAA remained the stuck-up assholes they are known to be, who are out to prove points that nobody wants them to prove.

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Here we sit now. As Gopher basketball fans, we’ve been complaining about Isaiah Washington’s lack of growth while we lament at the flow of our offense vs good defenses (especially zones). All season, Coffey has looked like the NBA player we know he can be, but let’s just admit that he doesn’t look comfortable running the point. He would be so much better off (and so would the team) if he could play wing full-time.

What would fix a lot of these issues? A true, natural, #1 point guard.

Like Marcus Carr.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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