Junior guard Denzel Mahoney is back with the Bluejay basketball program after spending nearly six months away from the team, but he won’t be eligible to play in games until Creighton’s fall semester concludes in December.

Coach Greg McDermott confirmed the news to The World-Herald on Wednesday.

Mahoney, a transfer from Southeast Missouri State, joined the program in the summer of 2018 and spent most of the 2018-19 campaign practicing as a member of CU’s scout team.

But late in the season, the Oviedo, Florida, native returned home because of a personal matter. No further details about his temporary absence were made available.

NCAA rules require Division I transfers to spend two semesters enrolled in classes on campus as full-time students (summer school does not apply) to gain eligibility to play in games with their new team. And because Mahoney left the CU program in late February, he has not yet fulfilled that requirement.

So Mahoney will have to first complete the fall semester — which began at Creighton on Wednesday — before he can play for the Jays.

Mahoney, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound wing, averaged 19.3 points per game for Southeast Missouri State as a sophomore in 2017-18. During practices with the CU squad last year, he displayed an ability to score at multiple levels — he was one of the team’s most consistent 3-point shooters. His length defensively (6-foot-11 wingspan) could make him an asset on the other end, too.

Creighton returns six of its top seven scorers from a season ago, including junior wings Mitch Ballock, Ty-Shon Alexander and Damien Jefferson. Senior Davion Mintz showed last season that he can also contribute in an off-ball role when sophomore Marcus Zegarowski is operating at point guard position.

CU is set to officially begin preseason practice on Sept. 24. The Jays are expected to soon announce their nonconference schedule.

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