UK Men's Basketball

UK's Kanter not yet cleared for Canada trip

University of Kentucky basketball player Enes Kanter's amateur status is still in question, and the freshman center might not be cleared to play in time for the Wildcats' three-day trip to Canada this month.

UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy confirmed Tuesday that Kanter has qualified to play academically but is waiting for the NCAA to clear him as an amateur.

Coach John Calipari told ESPN's Andy Katz on Monday night that he expects Kanter to be cleared by the start of the regular season but that he wasn't sure it would happen in time for UK's trip to Windsor, Ontario, Aug. 15-17.

The potential absence of Kanter, along with an ankle injury to fellow freshman Terrence Jones, could leave the Cats thin on the front line for the trip to Canada.

Kanter's amateur status is clouded because he played for a Turkish pro team before coming to the United States. He is awaiting certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Typically, the NCAA handles cases involving fall sports, such as football, first. That case load can consume the summer months. Then the NCAA Eligibility Center turns its attention to winter sports, such as basketball.

As for Jones' injury, Peevy called it "nothing dramatic" on Tuesday, and said the team was taking a cautious approach.

On Sunday, Kentucky began 10 days of practice to prepare for the trip.

Calipari explained Jones' situation in an audio tweet on Monday.

"He's practiced, but none of it has been live," Calipari said of the UK forward. "He's probably going about 75 percent, the effort, but we've got to live with that 'cause he's got the (sprained) ankle, and it's still swelled, but he's trying.

"Three or four times a day he's going into treatment. He's really going crazy because he wants to be on that court."

Kentucky will play the University of Windsor on Aug. 15 (7 p.m.) and Aug. 17 (11 a.m.). UK will play the University of Western Ontario on Aug. 16 (6 p.m.). All three games are at the University of Windsor's St. Denis Centre.

"What we're trying to do is get our team individually better," Calipari said of the 10 practice days. "Try to figure out our weaknesses and our strengths. Go to Canada with one thought: Bring us together."