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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Auburn's Ward working, waiting on his chance

Auburn and Arkansas play this afternoon, but I wrote about somebody who won't even be dressing up for the game -- point guard Varez Ward, a transfer from Texas. Here's how the story starts:
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn guard Varez Ward has perfected the waiting game.

His college debut was delayed a year for prep school. His first chance to shine was delayed because of a bad attitude. And his opportunity to start has been delayed by a quad tear and transfer from Texas to Auburn, where he won’t be eligible to play until next season.

But patience is exactly what is needed by the Tigers (9-18, 2-11 SEC), who continue to play out the stretch today against Arkansas (17-10, 6-7) at the Auburn Arena starting at 1:47 p.m.

“It’s hard to sit there and watch because I know I can be out there helping out my teammates get wins,” Ward said. “I think I’ll be able to come in and compete.”

With Ward, 6-foot-6 Clemson transfer Noel Johnson and injured guard Frankie Sullivan all joining the rotation next season, there appears to be brighter days on the horizon for Auburn, which needs to win one of its final three league games to avoid its worst conference mark since going 2-16 in 1988-89.
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Anonymous said...

When did Noel Johnson decide to come to AU?

Andy Bitter said...

He transferred in January, so he won't be able to play midway through next season.

MikeP said...

Not to nit-pick, but I don't think Ward needs any sort of medical waiver to have three years left. He played one at Texas, sat this year out as a transfer, which will be the same as a redshirt year for him.

That leaves three for him to play. Now, if he gets hurt again and misses another year he'd need a waiver. Or else I can't count. If I'm wrong, feel free to straighten me out!

Andy Bitter said...

You've got five years to play four. He played as a freshman in 2008-09. Last season was a medical redshirt year for him, so he couldn't use the transfer year this season as a redshirt unless he gets a medical hardship waiver.

If he does, he'll be a sophomore in 2011-12 with three years of eligibility left. At least that's how it has been explained to me.

Justin said...

Great article, AB. I was looking forward to it.

It'd be nice if Varez got another redshirt, especially since the hardship waiver to let him play this year didn't go through. But he's going to be one of those next level guys, and won't need to stick around playing for free any longer than he has to. Once he gets his degree he'll be off to, if not the big leagues, then the minors or overseas to cash in on this "basketball" thing while he can.

But for now I just can't wait to see him on the court for Auburn -- for the next two years, three years, one year, or whatever.