Connecticut freshman point guard Ryan Boatright wasn't the most highly touted recruit in Huskies history, but as the No. 74-ranked player in the class of 2011, the Chicago native was already an intriguing player. By the time he got to campus this summer, he impressed teammates and those who got to see Jim Calhoun's workouts. This was excellent news for UConn, because with Kemba Walker gone and Shabazz Napier taking over primary point guard responsibilities, the Huskies needed some measure of depth and versatility in the backcourt. Boatright could provide it.
That may in jeopardy now. Connecticut officials issued a statement Wednesday morning with the news that Boatright will be held out of an exhibition game versus American International Wednesday night thanks to a review of his eligibility by the NCAA.
University of Connecticut men’s basketball freshman Ryan Boatright will be held out of intercollegiate competition while the school works cooperatively with the NCAA in a review of his eligibility, a review that is not related to academics. Boatright will continue to practice with the team and may sit on the bench during games, but will not dress or see action while the joint review takes place.
The words "a review that is not related to academics" might indicate that Boatright's eligibility is under threat thanks to trouble with his amateur status or some impermissible benefit he may have received while in high school. That news will come in time. In the meantime, this has to be slightly unsettling for UConn fans. If Boatright is unable to get eligible -- and again, that may or may not be the case -- Connecticut's already shallow stable of guards becomes drastically so. Napier is the only other real ballhandler in that backcourt; Jeremy Lamb is capable of playing shooting guard, but he's not going to run your offense, you know?
Anyway, we'll see. The review may go nowhere. But for a team with national title aspirations, it's not exactly the most encouraging news.