Basketball: Transfer puts GGs Wright in thick of Final 8 talk, but there are questions

The questions about former Syracuse point guard Josh Wright (pictured) playing for Ottawa are swirling like snowflakes.

One can only wonder what has led to Wright, who played for the Gee-Gees for the first time Sunday and scoring 20 points in 21 minutes in an 82-67 win over Saskatchewan at the Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg, ended up at the U of O. One can only wonder what the fallout might be from bringing in a U.S. import who has a lot of baggage.

Wright, who played three seasons at Syracuse, was a much-ballyhooed recruit out of Utica. Long story short, he never lived up to the massive expectations that were placed on him and with the 'Cuse in its post-Carmelo Anthony malaise, he became a bit of a whipping boy among the fans and media. He eventually left the team under a cloud in December 2007 and since then, has had to deal with a legal matter after an arrest in August after police said he stole a credit card from a vehicle.

That is journalistic dynamite, especially given the status the rival Carleton Ravens enjoy in Ottawa as the team who wins the right way. There is something to be said for second chances, especially considering that Division 1 basketball players are among the most exploited athletes in North America.

Ottawa coach Dave DeAveiro, has worked with Canada Basketball the past few summers and, as you know, national team coach Leo Rautins' son, Andy, is a guard at Syracuse. There might have been some connection there. From a pure basketball standpoint, Wright makes a youngish, thinnish Gee-Gees teams significantly better, no question.
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  1. Looking at Josh's time at Syracuse the statistics have him playing some games as a senior last year and reportedly quitting in December. Did he get the year back? I've never heard of someone quitting a team and getting a redshirt.

  2. He has definitely sat out at least 365 days, so maybe that's why he was cleared. There have been others who played four full years at NCAA D-1 schools and played a fifth season in Canada; the Queen's women have just such a player, if memory serves.

    I must stress that I'm waiting for answers with this story, although it might take a few days to get them.

  3. Checked UOs eligibility list on-line. Wright was added on Dec 17 of this year which I am guessing is 365 days since he last played for Syracuse.
    He is listed as being in his fourth year of CIS eligibilty, so was docked three years for his time at Syracuse. Therfore they can have him for next season too, if he keeps his academic requirements up to date.

  4. Docked three years at Syracuse, but I see he played a few games into his fourth year too. No sign of a redshirt given out to wipe it away. He did sit out 365 days since that time. Interesting scenario...hopefully not another CIS transfer mishap!