Georgia Tech’s James Banks seeking immediate eligibility as transfer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FEBRUARY 21: Head coach Josh Pastner of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets reacts to a play in the first half during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena on February 21, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

Credit: Ryan M. Kelly

Credit: Ryan M. Kelly

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner has not given up on the possibility of Texas transfer James Banks receiving immediate eligibility this season through a waiver.

“I’m working on that with compliance, and I’ll leave it at that right now,” Pastner said Tuesday at a media availability session.

Banks, from Decatur, played two seasons at Texas before transferring in the summer. Listed at 6-foot-8 and 243 pounds, he played in 32 games and averaged 12.4 minutes as a freshman before seeing his playing time reduced as a sophomore.

There have been a number of transfers who have received immediate-eligibility waivers this year, leaving open the possibility that Banks could be one of them.

The apparent increase is in part due to a modification of the transfer rules, which state that immediate eligibility may be provided if the transfer is “due to documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student athlete.”

Were Banks able to play, it would be a considerable help for the Jackets, who are in need of frontcourt depth with the departure of center Ben Lammers. Abdoulaye Gueye is expected to be the starting center, but backup Sylvester Ogbonda is the only other candidate to play center, and he played 41 minutes last season.

Tech opens the season November 9 at home against Lamar.

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