The biggest question pundits had for the Kentucky Wildcats as the start of the regular season was the status of elite freshman big Skal Labissiere. Would Labissiere, whose connection to legal guardian Gerald Hamilton sparked concerns in some circles regarding his amateur status, be cleared for competition ahead of the Wildcats’ season opener?
Friday afternoon the answer to that question was learned, with Labissiere declared clear for competition. The news was first reported by Yahoo’s Shams Charania. While head coach John Calipari repeatedly stated that he wasn’t too concerned about the situation, noting at SEC Media Day this week that last year’s group had five players whose clearance wasn’t granted until just before the start of the season, this news gives the Hall of Fame head coach one less thing to worry about.
Labissiere is projected to be not only one of the top players in college basketball but a lottery pick in next June’s NBA Draft should he decide to leave school after one season. With regards to Kentucky, he’ll team up with veterans Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis, and fellow freshman Isaac Humphries to form one of the nation’s top front court rotations.
Kentucky will add New Zealander Tai Wynyard in December, but the plan for him is to redshirt with an eye towards getting prepared for the 2016-17 campaign.