Minn. basketball recruit is cleared to play this year

Published 5:17 am Saturday, October 19, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The NCAA has cleared transfer Joey King to play this season for Minnesota.

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound King grew up in the Twin Cities area and led Eastview High School to the 2012 state tournament. He’s in line to start at power forward for the Gophers, who are trying to replace Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams in their frontcourt. King played last season at Drake, averaging 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and landing on the Missouri Valley Conference all-freshman team.

The university confirmed Friday that King has been cleared.

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Shooting guard Malik Smith, who transferred from Florida International, also received a waiver to play right away for the Gophers.

Minnesota starts the season Nov. 8 against Lehigh.

After four nonconference games, the Gophers will play at the Maui Invitational starting on Nov. 25. Then, Minn. will play in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 3.