Minnesota Gopher Basketball - Malik Smith Granted Waiver to Play Immediately by NCAA

USA TODAY Sports

Good basketball news in July? WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?

This has been a week of feel good basketball stories about the Gophers. If you're like me, you are not accustomed to positive basketball stories showing up in July. This is the time of year when players get arrested or spontaneously combust or something.

Instead, this season we get a wave of positive stories coming out of yesterday's Pitino press avail and partially open team scrimmage. Sweet, that's cool. Only that was just the lead in to the even better news that FIU transfer Malik Smith has been granted immediately playing eligibility by the NCAA.

While this is not unexpected news by any means (FIU's APR penalties pretty much made this a shoo-in) it's still nice to have this done and out of the way. After all, we're talking about the NCAA here. As Coach Pitino has said many times, Malik is the only guy who knows exactly what he is expecting and how to play in his system. As a result, it was very important that he be available this year.

Not only is this important from an on the court perspective, but this also means that his scholarship will open back up following this season. This leaves Joey King as the other Gopher transfer waiting for the NCAA to rule. And as the U noted today, the NCAA has no set timeframes or guidelines for when review of transfer waivers are to be completed.

Go Gophers!

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