As Kentucky's first-year players prepare for their initial NCAA Tournament, one UK freshman can only watch.
And that makes Enes Kanter sad.
"I cry when I watch the games," Kanter told Yahoo Sports in an article posted Wednesday. "When I watch them play, I'm sad because I cannot help my teammates. When I see them losing, it's frustrating."
The 6-foot-10 Kanter has been serving as an undergraduate assistant coach for UK since being ruled ineligible to play by the NCAA, which said he accepted impermissible benefits from a professional club team in his native Turkey.
Kanter told Yahoo that the NCAA ruling set a bad precedent.
"They're just trying to do their job, but I think they're wrong," he said. "I didn't want to be a professional. That's why I came here.
"(International players) should come over here because basketball, education and everything is two times better. But after they heard about me, they're going to be scared and say, 'Enes could not play so maybe we can't play.' "
Kanter told Yahoo he plans to enter the NBA Draft and is scheduled to go to Chicago after the school year to work with renowned trainer Tim Grover.
Kanter also expects to play for the International team in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore., on April 9, where he would face UK recruits Michael Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague.
Kanter played in the Hoop Summit last year and broke Dirk Nowitzki's international team scoring record with 34 points.