CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mark Downey hopes Marshall's loss is a big gain for his University of Charleston basketball program.
Eladio Espinosa, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound junior who was announced last week as physically unable to continue to play at Marshall, enrolled at UC on Wednesday with hopes of playing for the Golden Eagles, the second-year Charleston coach said.
Downey said the university will have to jump through some medical and NCAA hoops before that happens. Espinosa, of Norlina, N.C., had transferred to Marshall from South Florida, where in 2008-09 he averaged 1.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 31 games. He sat out the 2009-10 season.
With the Herd last season, Espinosa averaged 12.5 minutes in 10 games before suffering a serious injury.
He spent several days in an Orlando, Fla., hospital in early January after the back of then-teammate Johnny Higgins' head smacked into Espinosa's throat during a 5-on-5 drills while Marshall was practicing on the eve of a game at UCF Arena.
When Espinosa fell to the floor, he was spitting up blood and gasping for air. He lost his voice for more than a week, and he did not play again last season.
"Eladio said he's good to go; he's fine, he's been playing," Downey said. "We will get him with a doctor and get him cleared to play, but we assume we'll need to do something (an appeal) to the NCAA because he's transferred twice.
"He's a good player, one who will help us a lot. Eladio wants to play on the perimeter, and he'll play the 4 for us, but the 4 in our system is mostly a perimeter guy. He had some Division I interest again, not huge schools, but places like Gardner-Webb, Campbell, South Alabama, High Point, but he's really good friends with Noah (Fischer) and Xavier (Humphrey, former Herd walk-on transfers to UC this summer) and they talked to him a lot.