By John Helsley
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The news of OSU granting Jarred Shaw his release was unexpected, yet hardly stunning. The signing of 6-11 Philip Jurick, combined with the Cowboys’ commitment to playing fast next fall, likely sent Shaw packing.
OSU coaches always felt Shaw had upside. And we saw it, too, in glimpses of games here and there — remember the Kansas game in the Big 12 Tournament? — if never in abundance.
The slender Shaw was hampered somewhat by Chron’s Disease, an inflammatory illness of the intenstines, which affected both his ability to gain weight and his cardio fitness. Shaw was a polite kid who always offered a smile and he seemed to be well-liked by teammates.
But players want to play. And Shaw’s place in the program going forward was in question, especially with Jurick on board, so he’s seeking a transfer.
Cowboys coach Travis Ford has vowed to run and gun next season, making best use of a roster that finally offers the athletes able to fit the system we’ve all awaited since Ford was hired from UMass three years ago. Even Jurick’s role is somewhat sketchy, although his size and proven rebounding and shot-blocking skills won’t go to waste.
But if the Cowboys run with regularity next season, it’s easy to project plentiful playing time for Markel Brown, Keiton Page, Jean-Paul Olukemi, Mike Cobbins, LeBryan Nash, Reger Dowell and Cezar Guerrero. And Darrell Williams’ status remains in flux while his legal situation plays out. Fred Gulley and Brian Willliams are also in the mix. And then there’s Jurick.
Shaw had to understand it all. So his departure is no stunner in a roster overhaul that will require a roster for 2011-12.
Ray Penn and Roger Franklin have also departed, meaning three key pieces of Ford’s 2009 recruiting class are gone.
The question now is when will OSU fill Shaw’s scholarship? The Cowboys hold out hope that La Salle transfer Aaric Murray heads their way, although all indications are that he’ll go to West Virginia. OSU is also involved with Chicago prep power forward Jamari Traylor, who may need to go to junior college first.
Ford won’t just add a body, not with a bevy of top prospects supposedly on the radar in what is considred a rich recruiting class nationwide next year.