A primary strength for Kansas basketball in recent years has been the program’s ability to develop young talent in the shadows of current stars.
Unfortunately for a Kansas team replacing a lot of talent, KU recently found out that a freshman-to-be, 6’8 power forward Braeden Anderson, will not be eligible for an athletic scholarship. Anderson was a partial qualifier, but was not approved for financial aid by the Big 12. The KC Star has the details.
His financial aid denied, Anderson said he cannot afford to attend KU as a walk-on.
Following the ruling, which came late last week, Anderson described teary moments for both himself and coach Bill Self. Understandably, Self feels bad for a young man who moved around to try and earn eligibility but was eventually denied. Anderson is from Canada and spent his senior year of high school as well as an additional year afterward in the United States.
What is a partial qualifier? I honestly couldn’t have told you much about that, so I looked it up and you can read everything here.
A partial qualifier has not met all the requirements to be academically eligible, but has a combination of GPA and standardized test score to earn the designation. For example, with a 2.5 GPA or higher, a student needs an SAT score of 820 to qualify. If the GPA is only 2.2, the minimum SAT rises to 940.
Partial qualifiers must have a GPA of at least 2.5. Either their standardized test scores are too low to make them qualifiers, or they haven’t met the course requirements from high school. Their scholarship eligibility must be approved by the conference, and Anderson’s wasn’t. In this case, it’s possible (though not certain) that Anderson’s switch from his Canadian high school to his American one created an awkward transfer of classes and left him short of the requirements for qualification.
We haven’t seen freshmen play huge minutes at Kansas too often, but their bench depth will be shorter than it has been in recent years under Self. Thomas Robinson is primed to lead the way for KU in 2011-12, but the Morris twins alone are huge losses and Kansas surely looked forward to developing new talent at the forward position. Anderson will not be part of that.
Additionally, highly touted newcomers Ben McLemore (6’5″ guard, St. Louis) and Jamari Traylor (6’8″ forward, Chicago) are waiting for NCAA approval to join the team. Kansas’ four forwards on the roster are Robinson, Traylor and transfers Kevin Young and Justin Wesley. Center Jeff Withey is one of two seniors on the roster.
Kansas has the talent to be a Big 12 contender this season but needs more depth, particularly up front, to re-establish itself as the league’s team to beat.