The race for the men's basketball championship in the conference just got a little tighter with news announced today (Friday) that the NCAA has ruled that Jordan Latham, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward, will be eligible to play for Loyola this season.
That report, citing an unnamed source close to the situation, appeared in recent editions of the Baltimore Sun newspaper. Latham played as a freshman at Xavier last season before opting to return closer to home (he is a graduate of Baltimore's City High School) after the 2010-11 season.
It was initially believed that Latham would sit out this season due to transfer rules, but the Loyola applied for a waiver of the transfer rule in Latham's behalf, and the waiver was approved recently. No explanation of the NCAA's ruling was cited in the report.
Latham was a Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro selection after the 2009-10 season. He appeared in 16 games for the Musketeers as a freshman, playing an average of just 4.8 minutes per contest. As a high school senior he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game.
He becomes active just as preseason practices are set to tip off and joins a program perceived by many as the the third-best in the conference, behind Iona and Fairfield, as the season approaches. Latham was ranked the 94th best high school player nationally by one recruiting service when he was at Baltimore City.
Latham's eligibility, though gives the Greyhounds a considerable boost, particularly on a front line that was already strong with returnees 6-10 center Shane Walker and 6-7 forward Erik Etherly, both double-figure scorers last season.