"Trying to get a waiver for a player of his caliber is worth the risk to us."
Espinosa wasn't the only intriguing basketball name joining the UC student enrollment this week. Dominic "Bo" King, the former Charleston Catholic All-Stater who played two seasons at West Virginia State after transferring from Division I Presbyterian (S.C.), is taking classes at UC.
State Coach Bryan Poore dismissed King, then a junior, from the Yellow Jacket program last spring for what the coached called a team rules violation. Downey said King is "not a member of the team," and declined further comment on the former Catholic High star.
Espinosa, when cleared, will join a UC recruiting class that also includes 6-5 senior P.J. Reyes, a former player for Lamar (Colo.) Community College and South Alabama.
Reyes left South Alabama at midseason last year after playing only 10 games (averaging 3.6 points and 8.1 minutes per game). He scored 12 points in a loss at LSU, and Downey is very high on Reyes, who was a Division I third-team junior college All-America pick at Lamar.
Downey also has brought in a 6-9, 210-pound junior college transfer in Montavious Marc, a sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla., who spent one season at Albany (Ga.) Tech. The UC coach said Marc "will provide what we need at the 5, a guy who will play hard, defend, rebound."
Two other walk-ons have joined the UC program in Markas Rayam, a 6-2 freshman guard who transferred from Fayetteville (N.C.) State, and 6-3 freshman Michael Keffer from Morgantown High.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.