Earl Watson will not play basketball at Wichita State this season, according to coach Gregg Marshall.
Watson “did not get done all he needed to in order to be admitted at this time,” Marshall said in a text message.
Watson (6-foot-7, 240 pounds) needed to complete a math class over the summer at Chipola (Fla.) College. Watson did not participate in summer practices with the Shockers and, in late July, Marshall said he was not optimistic.
“It’s going be hard,” Marshall said. “There’s an academic class he’s got to finish up to have the number of hours to be admissible to school.”
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Neither Watson nor Chipola coach Patrick Blake returned phone messages.
Watson, a junior-to-be from Fort Pierce, Fla., averaged 9.5 points and 6.4 rebounds for Chipola. He committed to WSU in September 2011 and signed in November. He attended Queen City Prep Academy in Charlotte, N.C., for one year after attending Fort Pierce Central High. As a freshman at Chipola, he averaged 6.5 points and 5.3 rebounds while making 57 percent of his shots.
“Earl is a 6-foot-7 freak athlete,” Blake said in November. “He does a great job of dominating the low block. When his defense and rebounding matches his offensive rebounding, he will take his game to the next level.”
Had Watson qualified, WSU would have been one scholarship over the NCAA limit of 13. WSU’s front line, missing departed seniors Carl Hall and Ehimen Orukpe, will rebuild with 6-9 seniors Kadeem Coleby and Chadrack Lufile, 6-8 senior Cleanthony Early, 6-7 junior Darius Carter and 6-8 freshman Shaq Morris. Early and Lufile are the only players with experience in a WSU uniform. Coleby sat out last season after transferring from Louisiana-Lafayette.