Fresno State had a need in its back court and found a perfect fit in graduate transfer Daryl Edwards, who as a senior led Fresno High to the Central Section Division III championship before starting his college career at Northwest Florida State College and spending two seasons at LSU.
But that homecoming on the basketball court will not happen.
Edwards, according to sources, is currently ineligible and will not play for the Bulldogs, the issue coming up after he had signed with Fresno State.
The loss of Edwards leaves coach Justin Hutson in a difficult spot, short an experienced back court presence that he was counting on after losing seniors Deshon Taylor and Braxton Huggins, who were first- and second-team All-Mountain West Conference selections.
The Bulldogs in 2019-20 have point guard Noah Blackwell and New Williams returning, and Oregon State transfer Jordan Campbell will be eligible after the fall semester. Hutson also has two incoming freshman guards in Jarred Hyder and Anthony Holland.
But Fresno State lost a lot in Taylor and Huggins, as well as senior forward Sam Bittner.
The two guards attempted 42.2 percent of the Bulldogs’ shots and scored 43.9 percent of their points last season in leading Fresno State to a 23-9 record and at 13-5 a third-place finish in the Mountain West.
Taylor also was one of the better perimeter defenders in the conference, tied for second in the Mountain West with 1.4 steals per game.
Edwards played in nine games last season for LSU before suffering a season-ending leg injury, averaging 4.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game. He already had received a medical hardship waiver to play next season.
As a senior at Fresno High, Edwards set school single-season records for 3-pointers (76) and points (796) while finishing among state leaders in averaging 24.9 points per game. He scored 25 points with six rebounds, four assists and two steals in a 62-61 win over top-seeded Roosevelt as Fresno captured its first Division III title in 34 years.