Junior-college transfer Kevin Galloway said Tuesday that he's gained his academic eligibility to play for Kentucky next season.
That brought UK halfway home to some sort of public acknowledgement that this season's team will not have a player sidelined because of academic questions. The other player reportedly facing eligibility questions, freshman DeAndre Liggins, could not be reached. His AAU coach, Mark Adams, said he had heard from other members of his team that Liggins had gained eligibility.
But that could not be confirmed.
Apparently, Galloway's academic status has been finalized and represents good news for UK.
“I got in,” Galloway said.
When asked to describe his reaction to completing his academic requirements, Galloway said, “Man, just a sigh of relief. It's been a long, long, tough couple years.”
UK represented “a chance to start over and find a good home,” he said.
Galloway, a 6-foot-6 swingman from Sacramento, Calif., began his college career at Southern Cal. He acknowledged that academic issues played a role in his transfer after one season to the College of Southern Idaho.
After leading Southern Idaho to a 30-2 record last season, Galloway committed to UK over such schools as Memphis, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and UNLV.
But he said he needed to attend another junior college, Garden City (Kan.) College, to complete the course requirements to be eligible at Kentucky. Southern Idaho did not offer those courses, he said.
Galloway, whose average of 8.6 assists last season ranked fourth among junior-college players, said he received confirmation of having met requirements to be eligible at UK.
Because each comes to UK as a point guard, Galloway and Liggins are viewed by many as potentially key contributors this coming season.
Derrick Jasper's transfer to UNLV left Kentucky without a point guard possessing abundant experience. Junior Michael Porter averaged 15.4 minutes last season. He had one assist and 10 turnovers against Southeastern Conference opponents last season. In his career, he has 51 assists and 61 turnovers.
UK released a prospectus on its basketball team for 2008-09 on Tuesday. Its roster included Galloway and Liggins.
Spokesman DeWayne Peevy cautioned against drawing any conclusions from any name on the pre-season roster.
“The roster is just a roster,” Peevy said. “It's just a listing of returning players and signees.”
He said that UK would not announce any player gaining eligibility. UK would let Big Blue Madness, which will be Oct. 17, serve as a de facto announcement.
UK will make an announcement if any player fails to gain academic eligibility, Peevy said.