Tyler Olander, Justin Jackson

UConn big man Tyler Olander charged with DUI, suspended indefinitely (UPDATED)

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UConn big man Tyler Olander has been indefinitely suspended from the team, the school announced.

The cause?

The dreaded unspecified violation of team rules. Those’ll get you every time.

(UPDATE: Olander was arrested and charged with DUI, according to Neill Ostrout of the Journal-Inquirer:

Olander was pulled over on Route 195 by state police at 10:49 Saturday night. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, operating (or towing) an unregistered motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle in violation of classification.

Oh, and Olander apparently doesn’t have a driver’s license.

Two arrests in the span of six months is not a good thing.)

Olander, who will be a senior this season, averaged 4.3 points and 3.7 boards last season for the Huskies. He started 26 games last year and has been a part-time starter in the program since the end of the 2010-2011 season, when he helped UConn with a national title.

But Olander’s also been in trouble before. A couple of weeks after breaking his foot and missing the end of the 2012-2013 season, Olander was arrested while on Spring Break in Panama City, FL. It was 2 a.m. and he reportedly was refusing to leave a condominium. Olander also isn’t the only UConn front court player to run into legal troubles, as center Enosch Wolf was suspended from the team at the end of last season after getting arrested in a domestic dispute. He eventually left school and went pro in Germany this summer.

At this point, there’s no reason to assume that Olander’s suspension will result in any missed playing time, as this offseason suspensions tend to remain in the offseason. But if he does, that puts in the Huskies in a major hole up front.

UConn lacks size up front, and the big guys they do have tend to be twigs; Olander is the only player on the roster listed at more than 218 pounds, and he’s the only guy heavier than 205 pounds that’s likely to see major minutes. Deandre Daniels is talented, but he’s more of a wing than he is a presence in the paint. Philip Nolan and Kentan Facey has some upside, but they are both young and need to spend quite a bit of time in the weight room. Leon Tolksdorf is a German kid that played 11 games last year. Amida Brimah is a seven-footer from Miami that picked the Huskies over Old Dominion, Florida International, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech.

The Huskies have guards on guards on guards, but without their veteran in the paint, this team is going to be battered and bruised on the blocks.

Skal Labissiere has not been cleared by the NCAA

Kelly Kline/Under Armour
Kelly Kline/Under Armor
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While the timeline surrounding Cheick Diallo’s eligibility has made headlines for months now, another elite recruit at a blue blood program is still awaiting word on whether or not he will be allowed to play college basketball this season.

Kentucky center Skal Labissiere, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015 and a potential No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has not yet been cleared to play this season. His guard, Gerald Hamilton, confirmed as much to ESPN earlier today.

“Not yet,” Hamilton said. “We’re just trying to get everything squared away. They are asking a few questions.

“They haven’t cleared him, but we’re sticking with our faith. There’s no real concern about anything from the Kentucky compliance people.”

Labissiere has more red flags than you can count, almost all of them pertaining to Hamilton. It was the worst kept secret in high school basketball that Hamilton more or less had Labissiere for sale. It’s why he played three different AAU programs and two different high schools in four years. Hamilton runs a non-profit called Reach Your Dream and, after a transfer rendered him ineligible for his senior high school season, Labissiere played for a team called ‘Reach Your Dream Prep’, which Hamilton founded simply to ensure Labissiere had a place to play.

Here’s how CBSSports.com summarized things back in November:

Multiple coaches who have recruited Labissiere told CBSSports.com Hamilton either directly indicated or strongly suggested pursuing Labissiere would mostly be a waste of time if they couldn’t offer assistance in helping fund his foundation. One coach from a prominent staff said: “We couldn’t even get in the door.” Another added: “We recognized what it was about early on and decided not to get involved.”

In other words, no one is surprised that the NCAA is looking into Labissiere’s situation, and it’s not hard to look at Kentucky bringing in Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard as a sign that they’re not completely certain that Labissiere will make it through this. The surprise is in how quiet that investigation has been over the course of the last few months.

The shame in all of this is that Labissiere is a sweet kid with an incredible back-story. He survived the devastating earthquake in Haiti despite having a house collapse on him. If he can get through this investigation, he’ll easily be one of the biggest and most likeable stars in the sport this season.

Xavier commit to enroll early, redshirt

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Getty Images
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Xavier landed a commitment on Wednesday from four-star big man Eddie Ekiyor, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

Ekiyor, who picked the Musketeers over Miami and Florida, is a borderline top 100 recruit. He’s an athletic, 6-foot-8 post that shouldn’t have an issue adjusting to the pace and physicality of the game, although he needs to continue to develop offensively to be more than a catch-and-dunk big man down the road.

In other words, on paper, Ekiyor isn’t much different from the majority of high major big men. But what’s different about this situation is that Ekiyor will be enrolling at Xavier for the start of the spring semester, technically making him a member of the Class of 2015. Xavier won’t be rushing him through the process — he’ll redshirt the second half of the 2015-16 season — but getting him on campus early will allow him an extra six months of learning the Xavier system, developing in collegiate practices and working out with the Xavier strength coaches.

That should help him limit the adjustment phase as he transitions from high school. That’s important for the Musketeers, because there’s a chance that they could lose their starting front line — James Farr (graduation) and Jalen Reynolds (early entry) — after this season.