After declaring his intention to transfer from Cincinnati last Friday, rising sophomore power forward Jermaine Lawrence has been released from UC and will seek a school closer to his home in Queens, New York. According to Zach Braziller of the New York Post, Iona, Manhattan, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, Hofstra, and Fordham are on Lawrence's early list.
In a release from the University of Cincinnati, the 6-foot-9 Lawrence cited the health of his father as the main reason for returning to the New York / New Jersey area for the rest of his collegiate career. "I'm leaving UC because my father is ill," Lawrence said. "I want to be closer to him as well as be close enough where I can have him and my mom attend my games. We appreciate everyone's support." Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin added that "we have been praying for Jermaine's father and understand the situation. We wish Jermaine all the best." It's unclear whether or not a hardship transfer waiver will come into play here - though it seems likely - which would make Lawrence eligible for the 2014-15 season if granted by the NCAA.
Rated the 19th, 26th, and 19th overall prospect in the Class of 2013 by ESPN, Rivals, and Scout, respectively, Jermaine Lawrence managed 2.8 ppg and 2.9 rpg in 15.1 mpg as a freshman last season. After undergoing wrist surgery that kept him out until January of his senior season at Pope John XXIII (N.J.), Lawrence missed eight games during AAC league play due to turf toe. As a result, Lawrence scored just nine points over his final 11 games after scoring 4.2 ppg over the first 15 games of the season.
Prior to his season and a half at Pope John, Jermaine Lawrence played for city school Benjamin Cardozo before transferring mid-junior year. Based on the articles written at the time of his commitment to Cincinnati, St. John's was the closest local school in his recruitment with UNLV also playing a major role. Because of that, one would have to assume the Red Storm have as good of a chance as anyone at landing Lawrence.
For Seton Hall, this is another blip, albeit a large one, on the incoming transfer radar. Jermaine Lawrence joins Oklahoma State power forward Kamari Murphy, Houston wing/shooting guard Danuel House, and 6-foot-10 Ohio de-commit Tariq Owens as possible additions to the team this spring/summer.