The UConn Huskies got some great news this week, as freshman power forward Kentan Facey has been ruled eligible by the NCAA Compliance Office. Facey will have a full four years of eligibility, which is fantastic news for both him and UConn.
As a native of Jamaica, there were questions regarding Facey’s academic background and how many years of eligibility he should have. Facey is by all accounts a good student, but there were issues regarding how many years of high school he completed. Facey graduated from Jamaica’s high school system then attended three years of school in New York. At 19 years old, he is one year past what would have been his expected graduation if he had spent his entire life in the U.S. The question was whether or not that extra year should cut into his college eligibility.
UConn appealed to the NCAA to grant a waiver in Facey’s case, arguing that complex details of switching between two totally different academic systems of two countries created the situation. UConn argued that Facey completed all the academic requirements he should within an acceptable time frame, and the NCAA agreed with them.
Now UConn can focus on basketball, and Facey should be a crucial player for them. UConn is very thin up front, with Tyler Olander being the only big man with significant experience. A 6’9″ power forward, Facey should be a huge asset for the Huskies in terms of rebounding and shot blocking. He is rail thin and very raw offensively, but UConn needs him on the defensive end of the court far more than offense, and for that reason he should see big minutes.
Sophomore Phillip Nolan and freshman Amida Brimah will also provide depth up front, and they give UConn the size that they lacked last season. UConn will still start its three guard lineup of Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun, with DeAndre Daniels as the nominal “power” forward and Olander at center. However, Facey gives Kevin Ollie the ability to go to a more traditional lineup when the situation or opponent calls for it, which is a huge boost for the team.
UConn has high hopes for this season, and they expect a deep tournament run. Facey will play a huge part in that, and the Huskies are thrilled to have declared eligible.