Victor could be eligible sooner than expected

Transfer Craig Victor is getting acclimated to life as an LSU basketball player. On Monday he suggested his official start time to take the floor may be sooner than originally anticipated.

The news surrounding LSU basketball transfer Craig Victor may be getting even better.

At a media opportunity Monday afternoon, the first time Victor has publicly done interviews since arriving in Baton Rouge, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward confirmed he is still seeking a hardship waiver that would allow him to be eligible and play for all of the 2015-16 season, not just the second semester as previously anticipated.

"That is not locked in," Victor said with a smile about beginning play in January 2016. "We're still working on it."

A New Orleans native who began his prep days at St. Augustine before transferring to Findlay Prep (Nev.), Victor came to LSU in January after another transfer, this time from Arizona several months into his college career. While in Tuscon, Victor averaged 3.1 points and 1.1 rebounds, appearing in eight games.

Victor told TSD that "being closer to home" played the biggest part in his decision to swap schools, particularly to be closer to a family member dealing with a medical condition. It is that fact that has the player believing he's in line for a family hardship waiver from the NCAA.

"That's compliance," head coach Johnny Jones responded when asked about Victor's status. "I'm hopeful. I hope compliance can get it there. I know they'll have to go through the proper guidelines, with Arizona's people and our people, for (Victor) to be in consideration."

Based on what Jones and LSU players have seen from Victor in practice already, he'll be a welcome addition to the Tigers' frontline, whenever he becomes eligible.

"He has a different motor," explained Jones. "He's a guy that plays with a great deal of energy and brings a physicality to the game that's needed. He's been a really good addition to our team to have at practice."

Sophomore guard Tim Quarterman added, "He's been great. He goes hard every day, works out and puts in the time. Craig is always working on his game, and he's a very confident basketball player. I just know he's going to make a great impact next year."

When asked if Victor's game and skill set more resemble that of Jarell Martin or Jordan Mickey, Quarterman was decisive.

"He's more like Jarell. He dribbles, shoots, passes. He can work on the block," Quarterman continued. "He rebounds well, too, so he's probably more like Jarell. He can play the three and the four and guard the five just because he's strong. He holds his weight on the block. Nobody pushes him around."

For Victor the wait is excruciating at times, but he's confident in the process and that he made the right call. (Although he maintained there really was no other alternative once he opted to transfer. "It was only right that it was LSU. There was no competition.")

"It's going to pay off. I'm not worried at all," Victor told reporters about the move and having to grind only in practice these days. "I'm in the gym every day, in the weight room. I don't like to talk about it much. Even when people ask me, I tell them talk to the strength and conditioning coach or talk to coach because the game will speak for itself. I don't really have to say too much."

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