May 9, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT
With a turf toe injury limiting his effectiveness as a freshman, highly regarded forward Jermaine Lawrence did not have the impact at Cincinnati many forecasted when he made his pledge. Lawrence posted averages of 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, but the hope was that at full strength he would be able to help the Bearcats deal with the losses of Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles in the front court.
That may not be the case, as according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com Lawrence is expected to request to be released from his scholarship. However it should be noted that both Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News and the Cincinnati Enquirer have reported that the school has yet to hear from Lawrence regarding this matter, and that could be a matter of timing more than anything.
Losing Lawrence wouldn’t be optimal for head coach Mick Cronin, but the decision comes one day after the program received a commitment from junior college All-American Octavius Ellis. Add in another junior college transfer in Coreontae DeBerry and highly-regarded freshmen Gary Clark and Quadri Moore, and Cincinnati will have bodies in the post.
The Bearcats will also add 6-foot-10 big man Jamaree Strickland, who sat out all of last season after not being cleared by the NCAA. Returning for his sophomore season would have given Lawrence the opportunity to compete for (and earn) more playing time, but that apparently won’t be the case.
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