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John Calipari Talks Big Z's Status, NCAA Decision

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

As of Thursday, the NCAA had yet to rule Zvonimir Ivisic eligible to participate with his team in any regular season games including the two preseason exhibitions that Kentucky had scheduled. The organization released a statement saying he could not face any "outside competition" until he becomes eligible for the program, sidelining him for the near future.


On Friday night, Kentucky hosted Georgetown College in Rupp Arena to officially start the 2023-24 season and to see what this team could do against an opponent other than themselves to get prepared for the regular season that's just right around the corner. Big Z of course did not get to play. In the postgame press conference, John Calipari commented on the situation.


Question from the reporter: "I know he wasn't cleared today anyway, but has there been any injury or medical concern with him since he started practicing?"


John Calipari responded, " No. No. But, here again, what happened was we asked the question, scrimmaging and the exhibition, and there was some miscommunication. We were told yes and then two nights ago we are saying he can't play in the exhibition until he is cleared, too. So that's what the issue was. There was no -- you know, nothing crazy.


And he's doing good. And if he were cleared, I am not sure how many European players have been cleared yet, not many, but if he were cleared my guess is he would probably be able to play at the next exhibition. But you have to get cleared first.


I will say it again, I feel comfortable knowing what I know. I mean, I'm -- you know, he played on a development team. I went as far as to call the NBA to make sure his name was pulled on time after his pre-draft stuff. And it was. Which is -- that's the depth that I went to just make sure before we do it. But, again, you know, it's European, so there may be some things that they will do different because he's a European, not a kid from the United States."


It seems like he's definitely frustrated on having to wait for the NCAA to make their ruling but confident that they will in his favor, it's just, how long is it going to take is the real question. The team won't need him back for many more weeks so it's not a desperate need for his official debut, but the quicker they can get that approval the faster he can get thrown into the mix of the rotation and Kentucky can extended their depth at center. He continues to practice with the team and do everything expected of him that he can at the moment, but it sucks that he's went through all the effort to get here and he has to postpone his future for even longer.






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I can’t wait for this s Cat to play!!!!!

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