Welcome to Stillwater, Anthony Hickey.
The former LSU point guard is on a visit to Oklahoma State, and was mulling whether to make a formal pledge to join a program in need of shoring up depth at the position, Anthony Hickey Sr., the guard’s father, said.
“He took a trip out there, and he’s sort of liked it so far,” Anthony Hickey Sr. said. “He might love it.”
Roughly a month ago, LSU parted ways with the three-year starter after the program decided not to renew his scholarship.
Now, Hickey could have remained in Baton Rouge to finish his degree, but would not have been on the Tigers roster next season. It didn’t help Hickey’s efforts that he was released right on the cusp of a NCAA-mandated dead period that ran until June 1 and prevented in-person contact with coaches and campus visits.
The Kentucky native fielded some interest from Purdue, Butler, Southern Mississippi, Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois and a “bunch” of low-major programs, Anthony Hickey Sr. said.
Still, OSU’s Travis Ford was one of the few head coaches to reach out and make contact, along with Cowboys assistant coach Butch Pierre.
The linchpin could be whether the guard is immediately eligible next season, or whether he’s forced to sit out the usual one season as a transfer. A solution could be found in a little-used, little-known “run-off” waiver, which was created in 2012.
Under the guidelines for a waiver, Hickey, who averaged 9.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in his career, would need to show his exit from the Tigers “was outside the control of the student athlete,” prove he is in good academic standing and get a statement from LSU indicating they support the request.
Right now, Anthony Hickey Sr. said he’s under the impression Jones’ program wouldn’t have any reason or desire to withhold that support.
“They said they will do anything to help,” he said. “Anything outside of that would be a surprise to us.”
The Cowboys, who were a top-10 early last season but stumbled to a second-round exit in the NCAA tournament as a No. 8 seed, face a measure of uncertainty about who will run the show next season.
With Marcus Smart and Markel Brown out of the fold, Hickey could be a an easy plug-in option.
The Cowboys are bringing in freshman Tyree Griffin, a Landry-Walker product, and a JUCO transfer in Jeff Newberry.
“It’s kind of a perfect situation for him,” Anthony Hickey Sr. said. “But he’s still going to weigh his options.”