Tuesday evening it was announced by the Wisconsin basketball program that head coach Bo Ryan will have one less front court option to call upon this season.
The school’s appeal of an NCAA ruling that declared 6-foot-11 forward Andy Van Vliet ineligible for the 2015-16 season was denied by an NCAA appeals committee, meaning that the Belgian will not be allowed to play this season. Student-athletes have one year after graduation from high school (or expected graduation date) to enroll in college. According to the release, the fact that Van Vliet played amateur basketball within this window means that he not only loses a season of eligibility but has to sit as well.
Van Vliet didn’t get to play in Wisconsin’s exhibition game against Wisconsin-River Falls as a result of his eligibility situation but he did participate in their annual Red/White Scrimmage, accounting for eight points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Even with this disappointing news, the Badgers won’t lack for bodies in the front court as they look to account for the losses of Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker from last season’s front court rotation.
Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown have been their most productive options through two games, with Ethan Happ, Khalil Iverson and Charlie Thomas averaging five rebounds per game apiece. Van Vliet’s presence would have given Wisconsin additional size in the post, especially with the 6-foot-9 Happ being the tallest member of their current rotation.