The NCAA has ruled that Oklahoma transfer Joe Bamisile will not be eligible to play for VCU Basketball this season. How big of a hit is this for the Rams?
It was an offseason of complete change for VCU Basketball after losing head coach Mike Rhoades. The team hired Ryan Odom from Utah State and landed a ton of quality transfers from the portal. One of them was Joe Bamisile, who was at Oklahoma last season. He was limited to just 4.0 ppg in 21 games played and largely was out of the rotation during the end stretch.
Bamisile, who is from the Virginia area and started his college career at Virginia Tech, needed a waiver from the NCAA to play this season because he’s a three-time transfer that hasn’t graduated yet. With the NCAA already saying it was clamping down on waivers, the odds weren’t great that he’d be eligible. And now, it’s official on that end.
From an outside perspective, it’s not a surprise to see this happen. He left Oklahoma without a coaching change and although mental health was used as a reason, it was always going to be an uphill climb. And VCU Basketball probably not only knew that but also planned ahead in case they’d be missing him.
The good news for the Rams is that they still have a loaded backcourt without Bamisile. Coach Odom was able to bring with him two starters from the Utah State squad that made the NCAA Tournament in Max Shulga and Sean Bairstow, both of whom were double-digit scorers. Jason Nelson was a starter as a freshman at Richmond and could start for VCU as well. Zeb Jackson and Alphonzo Billups are back and the team also has international freshman, Michael Belle, joining as well.
Assuming that Cal transfer Kuany Kuany is healthy and Louisville transfer Roosevelt Wheeler has an impact at center, VCU is going to have one of the top starting lineups in the Atlantic 10 this season. The loss of Bamisile hurts them from a depth perspective but there’s plenty of enough firepower for them to be a contender in league play.