Taking advantage of a final chance: graduate students helping rebuild Seattle U basketball

Jordan Hill, Josh Hearlihy and Richaud Gittens are starting for Seattle University while working on graduate degrees. They are taking full advantage of the graduate-transfer rule that allowed them to play for Seattle U without sitting out a year.

Jim Hayford wanted to make a strong showing in his first year as men’s basketball coach at Seattle University, but he would need some help.

And he knew where to find it. He would search the graduate-transfer market.

In Hayford’s final two seasons at Eastern Washington, he hit the jackpot with graduate transfers: Austin McBroom was the Big Sky Conference’s leading scorer in 2015-16, and Jacob Wiley was the Big Sky MVP last season.

And, of course, Hayford doesn’t have to look far to find perhaps the greatest graduate transfer of all: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who took Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl in 2012 after leaving North Carolina State.

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And now it’s Jordan Hill, Josh Hearlihy and Richaud Gittens who are taking advantage of the rule that allows players who have earned a degree at one school to transfer to another school and be eligible to play immediately, unlike other transfers who must sit out a year.

Hill, Hearlihy and Gittens are starting for Seattle University while working on graduate degrees. Only Iowa State can match Seattle U’s three graduate transfers, and only one of those Cyclones is a starter.

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