South Carolina's Tyrone Johnson granted clearance, scores 18 points in 1st game

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA waiver process is a bit mysterious at times, but this time around it helped out Tyrone Johnson.

South Carolina guard Tyrone Johnson was granted a waiver to play immediately, the school announced on Saturday, and it paid big dividends.

Johnson played sparingly for the Villanova Wildcats in 2011-12, and transferred midseason to the South Carolina Gamecocks in January of 2013. He was the leading scorer in the Gamecocks' season opener against the Longwood Lancers, scoring 18 points.

Johnson's waiver case for the NCAA was an interesting one. Despite not playing in a regular season game for Villanova last season, Johnson wasn't eligible to play until the end of South Carolina's first semester on Dec. 16. This ruling stems from him playing nine minutes in an exhibition game last season.

His arrival is a big boost for Frank Martin's backcourt. Prior to the notice, the only true point guard on the Gamecocks' roster was freshman Duane Notice. South Carolina senior Bruce Ellington, the team's other point guard, is still occupied with football duties where he is a wide receiver.

The Gamecocks' next game is on the road against the Baylor Bears on Monday.

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