Visiting Lamar rolled to a 90-69 victory Wednesday night at Incarnate Word, but it couldn’t stop this play as forward Charles Brown III dishes to teammate Simi Socks for the basket.
Incarnate Word point guard Jalin Hart said Wednesday night that he is academically ineligible to play basketball for the remainder of the season after falling short of the required credit hours in the classroom last fall.
UIW coach Ken Burmeister said he couldn’t comment on why Hart has not played in the last four games, noting, “You’ll have to talk to Jalin.”
In the wake of Lamar’s 90-69 Southland Conference victory over UIW at the Convocation Center, Hart expressed regret about the situation.
He said it hurts coming to the games knowing that he can’t suit up.
Signs of trouble for the former Houston area prep standout first came to light on Jan. 6.
He said that he expected to be sidelined for two weeks, “taking care of some business” related to his academics.
At the time, he expressed confidence that he would be able to resolve the situation and re-join the team.
Since then, circumstances have changed.
Speaking after the Lamar-UIW game on the UIW campus, Hart ruled out the possibility that he could return.
He explained that he initially looked into the possibility of taking a class in between the fall and spring semesters at SMU in Dallas.
But he discovered that it couldn’t be paid for by his UIW scholarship.
“I was supposed to take a class in Dallas, but I couldn’t afford it, so that makes me ineligible for the rest of the year,” Hart said. “It hurts me to see my teammates. I know they need me. But, that’s what happens.”
Hart said he plans to continue to attend school at UIW and hopes to graduate by December.
UIW senior guard Sam Burmeister said “it’s a tough loss” for the team.
“But we have a philosophy that the next man steps up,” said Burmeister, the coach’s son. “We have Cody Graham. He’s a freshman, and he’s stepped up pretty good so far. I hope he will continue to do that.
“That’s all we can do. We can’t dwell on it. We have to keep moving forward and think positive.”
With a powerful inside presence, Lamar (11-8, 3-3) shot 54.3 percent in the first half and 49.2 percent for the game in a run-away road victory.
UIW (5-11, 0-6) trailed by 13 at intermission and pulled to within 10 twice in the first five minutes of the second half.
But Lamar, with forwards Colton Weisbrod and Josh Nzeakor dominating down low, never allowed the home team to get any closer.
Weisbrod finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Nzeakor registered a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Guard Nick Garth hit four threes en route to 25 points off the bench for Lamar, which broke a three-game losing streak.
For UIW, forward Charles Brown III scored 26 on 9 of 15 shooting. Freshman guard Keaton Hervey poured in career-high 20 off the bench.
Starting at point guard for the fourth straight game, Graham registered six points, three rebounds and three assists for the Cardinals.
UIW plays at New Orleans on Saturday night.
Lamar forward Josh Nzeakor makes a quick move for a dunk in the first half.