The NCAA is currently reviewing freshman point guard Ryan Boatright's eligibility, a process that will keep him on the sidelines during games, though he is free to practice with the team. The issue isn't related to academics and … well, that's about all we know.
Boatright was in street clothes during UConn's 78-35 win over AIC in their exhibition opener Wednesday. When that changes and he's allowed to dress remains a mystery.
"We don't have the slightest idea [what it's about]," Ryan's grandfather, Tom Boatright, told the Beacon-News of Aurora, Ill. "Ryan is upset about it, naturally. He wants to be playing, but we've told him to trust in God. … We're just hoping for the best and need to let the NCAA do their job."
The review stems from Boatright's activities prior to his arrival in Storrs, while he was playing with his AAU team in Chicago.
Boatright was Mr. Basketball in Illinois as a high school senior and he won the First Night dunk contest over freshman Andre Drummond just a few weeks ago. His fate remains unclear for now, but head coach Jim Calhoun seems unconcerned that Boatright will be out long.
"We look forward to getting him back," Calhoun said after the AIC exhibition.
The Beacon-News points out that Boatright is probably best known for committing to Tim Floyd and USC as an eighth grader. He eventually backed out, committed to West Virginia before backing out there and signing with the Huskies. More via the News:
Boatright also played two years on an AAU team coached by Reggie Rose, brother of Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who had numerous eligibility issues himself in his one season at Memphis. Any one of those contacts could probably draw scrutiny from the NCAA, conceded one family member.
Boatright also had to deal with questions about his academic standing.
“People were always saying stuff out of jealousy and hate,” Tom Boatright said. “We’ve always told him, ‘Any time something is said against you it just makes you stronger.’”
In previous weeks, Calhoun has compared Boatright to Kemba Walker. “He’s got some similarities to Kemba in that he can score,” Calhoun told the Hartford Courant at the time. “I’d say he’s 60-40 — 60 percent scorer, 40 percent pure point guard.”