Asante Gist, who transferred to Iona in January, will be eligible for full season as Gaels look for fourth straight MAAC championship. (Photo by ZagsBlog)
The Iona backcourt, which experienced greater transition this offseason than in recent years, just received a shot in the arm six weeks from the opening tip of the season.
Asante Gist, who transferred into the Gaels' program this past January and was expected to suit up for the first time in December after being ineligible for the fall semester, received a waiver from the NCAA early Friday evening and will be able to play the full season as Iona prepares for an unprecedented fourth consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship. News of the waiver, initially reported by college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, ZagsBlog's Adam Zagoria, and Josh Thomson; the Journal News' Iona basketball beat writer, was quickly confirmed by an Iona spokesman.
Gist, a 5-foot-11 guard who committed to Eastern Kentucky after a stellar high school career that culminated by playing Bob Hurley at St. Anthony after winning a Tournament of Champions at Roselle Catholic, will have three years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the coming season. In 37 games for the Colonels, the East Orange native averaged 14.6 points and 3.6 assists per contest in head coach Dan McHale's uptempo attack. As a freshman, he averaged nearly 16 points per game and scored 20 or more points on twelve occasions, reaching double figures on the scoreboard in all but six games. In just six contests last season before transferring, Gist scored 48 points, but shot nearly 39 percent from three-point range, a figure that should see many chances to improve in Iona's high-octane offense.
Gist joins Isaiah Still, who sat out this past year after transferring from Robert Morris, as new pieces to an Iona arsenal that returns point guard Rickey McGill for his senior year along with junior E.J. Crawford and senior forward Roland Griffin, the latter of whom is expected to have a breakout season.