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Jamaica native plays the waiting game

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It's not where the Jamaica native envisioned himself, not when he signed a letter of intent last year. But the Golden Eagles are ranked No. 20 in the country with a 24-9 record, so the former Bayside High standout needs to wait. "It's hard sitting on the bench, but it's still a good learning experience," Hazel said Friday, after the Golden Eagles fell to Pittsburgh in the Big East semifinals at Madison Square Garden. "I feel my time will come soon."Hazel has played in 14 games in his freshman year, averaging 0.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in 3.4 minutes per game. It's a stretch from when the 6-foot-7 was a starter who averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game for New Jersey prep school Blair Academy. "That's probably the hardest thing because everyone who comes out of high school, especially if you're getting recruited at this level, you're definitely playing all the minutes," Hazel said. "It's a big learning experience. Everyone's time will come and I just got to take it positive every single day and make myself better."Big East tournament notes: Villanova redshirt freshman Antonio Pena, a Flushing resident, had 12 points in the Wildcats' quarterfinal loss to Georgetown. Pena and Villanova will play in the NCAA tournament against Clemson in the first round Friday.Providence junior Weyinmi Efejuku, of Fresh Meadows, had a team-high 12 points, but the Friars lost to West Virginia in the first round of the Big East tournament March 12. Three days later, Providence announced coach Tim Welsh would be fired. Welsh's associate head coach was Bayside native and Cardozo graduate Steve DeMeo, who reportedly is up for the New Jersey Institute of Technology head job.-Marc Raimondi

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