Hodges doesn't rule out return to Bucs

Joe Avento • Updated May 18, 2020 at 3:05 PM

Bo Hodges has not ruled out returning for his senior year with the East Tennessee State basketball team.

After receiving interest from several schools, Hodges tweeted his top five choices on Sunday night. Saying they were in no particular order, he listed the logos of ETSU, Minnesota, Butler, Tennessee State and Arkansas.

Hodges, a 6-foot-5 guard, put his name into the NCAA transfer portal soon after Jason Shay was promoted to become ETSU’s head coach.

Tennessee State shouldn’t be a surprise on the list. The school is in Nashville, Hodges’ hometown, and Tigers head coach Penny Collins was the ETSU assistant who recruited him out of high school.

Tennessee State was 18-15 last season, including going 9-9 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Arkansas (Southeastern Conference), Minnesota (Big Ten) and Butler (Big East) have the lure of big-time conferences.

Hodges would be ETSU’s top returning player, having averaged 12.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as a junior. He was also the only guard on the team to shoot better than 50 percent from the field and went over the 1,000-point mark for his career during the Bucs’ run to the Southern Conference tournament championship.

Meanwhile, Daivien Williamson, the ETSU point guard who also entered the transfer portal, has reportedly heard from Wake Forest and other schools.

Steve Forbes, the former ETSU head coach, took over at Wake Forest. Wake Forest is in Williamson’s hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He led Winston-Salem Prep to a state championship.

Playing a part in the decisions of both players might be the NCAA proposal that could grant all players a one-time free transfer waiver. A final vote on that rule by the NCAA Division I Council could be held Wednesday.

Before he left for Wake Forest, Forbes had said he heard from insiders that the rule would likely be passed beginning immediately. However, that proposal was subsequently not recommended by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

That’s a rule that could help and hurt ETSU at the same time. Hodges and Williamson could ultimately decide to leave if they are both granted immediately eligibility elsewhere. But at the same time, the Bucs would be gaining the services of two talented transfers, point guard David Sloan from Kansas State and forward Ty Brewer from Southeastern Louisiana.

Without the rule change, Sloan and Brewer would have to sit out a year, although Brewer could still apply for a waiver since his brother Ledarrius is on the ETSU team. Hodges and Williamson would have to sit out a year if they transferred with no one-time waiver rule in effect.

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