Reports link possible Lamar transfer to NCCU basketball

May. 06, 2014 @ 10:49 PM

Officials in N.C. Central’s athletics department are neither confirming nor denying media reports that Lamar University guard Nimrod Hilliard is transferring to NCCU.

James Dixon, assistant athletics director for media relations at Lamar, said Hilliard, the Cardinals’ leading scorer last season, is still on Lamar’s roster.

A Twitter account for Nimrod Hilliard IV has the guard bidding farewell to Lamar and hyping up future success as an Eagle with NCCU forward Jordan Parks. NCCU assistant basketball coach Brian Burg follows the Twitter account for Nimrod Hilliard IV.

If Hilliard, in fact, has decided to become an Eagle, he’d bring a scoring average of 14.1 points per game to an NCCU team that has lost some serious offensive production.

Jeremy Ingram wrapped up his NCCU basketball career in March, when Iowa State beat the Eagles in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ingram, who averaged 20.6 points per game, was both the player of the year in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the most outstanding player of the MEAC Tournament that NCCU won to arrive at the Big Dance for the first time in school history.

NCCU senior Emanuel Chapman also exhausted his eligibility during NCCU’s inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament. He is the school’s all-time assists leader with 617. Chapman this past season led the MEAC with 6.4 assists per game.

Hilliard (6-0, 154) led Lamar with 4.9 assists per game.

If Hilliard ends up at NCCU, he might be eligible to play immediately despite NCAA transfer rules requiring players to sit out a year when transferring from one Division-I program to another. The potential exemption would have to do with Lamar’s potential postseason ban due to academic issues.

Dixon said chatter about Lamar’s exclusion from the postseason is premature since details about the school’s academic progress rate won’t be released until later this month.

At Lamar, Hilliard played for Pat Knight, the son of Bobby Knight, who coached at Indiana and Texas Tech.

Lamar athletics director Jason Henderson fired Pat Knight in February. Tic Price, who was serving as an athletics coordinator for Lamar, took over as interim head coach and was named head coach 10 days after the season ended.

Hilliard’s presumed arrival in the Eagles’ nest could answer some questions about the future of NCCU coach LeVelle Moton, who was rumored to have been in the running to take over the basketball programs at Florida Atlantic and Marshall universities. But both of those coaching vacancies have been filled. FAU hired former NBA player and former NBA assistant coach Michael Curry. Marshall hired Dan D’Antoni, who played at Marshall and was an NBA assistant coach for his brother, Mike, recently fired by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Moton staying at NCCU would possibly be attractive to Hilliard in terms of stability, although that doesn’t appear to be a priority for the guard, who played at South Dakota and then Jacksonville (Texas) College prior to suiting up for Lamar.