Huskies Gain Services of Stevenson, Still Waiting on Bajema in Waiver Process

The transfer of the Wichita State player to UW has been approved, but the newcomer from Michigan hasn't been cleared yet.
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Erik Stevenson is eligible, but Cole Bajema remains in question.

The University of Washington announced on Thursday that Stevenson, a Wichita State transfer and proven shooting guard, has received his NCAA waiver needed for changing schools and becoming eligible to play right away with the Husky season fewer than two weeks against Portland State. 

Yet Bajema, a Michigan transfer, hasn't been approved yet, though the UW is still hopeful to have him available for the opener. 

Stevenson, a local player from Timberline High School in Lacey, Washington, was the Shockers' second-leading scorer at 11.1 points per game while starting 21 games last season.

He left a Wichita State program in inner turmoil, with the 6-foot-3 Stevenson one of several players who clashed with coach Gregg Marshall and have left the program since last season. 

"He's a guy who's a proven player at the highest level," UW coach Mike Hopkins said. "He can really shoot the ball, can make plays and he's a high-level competitor."

Bajema is 6-7 wingman and another local player from Lynden, Washington, who played sparingly at Michigan. He provides another shooter.

"We're hoping for good news, we just haven't got it yet," Hopkins said. "Cole deserves to play. I feel like good news is right around the corner."

Stevenson should become a starter for the Huskies alongside point guard Quade Green, a one-time Kentucky transfer who was academically ineligible for half of last season; 6-9 post player J'Raan Brooks, a USC transfer now getting ready to play for the first time at the UW; 6-6 junior Jamal Bey, previously a part-time starter; and 6-9 wingman Hameir Wright, the team's lone senior and its most experienced players. 

Still missing is Naz Carter, a 6-6 senior who was suspended for an unspecified code of conduct violation and seems unlikely to get back. While the school hasn't explained his absence in any detail, he faces serious allegations of misbehavior from another person.

"If he's with us, unbelievable," Hopkins said. "If he's not, we'll deal with it."

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