NCAA grants Arizona transfer guard Jemarl Baker Jr. immediate eligibility
Arizona will be on the floor again Friday evening as the Wildcats unofficially open up the 2019-20 season with an exhibition game against Chico State at McKale Center. On the floor for UA will be Kentucky transfer guard Jemarl Baker Jr. who has been seeking immediate eligibility after dealing with injuries during his time in Lexington.
Those injures were at the forefront of the argument Baker, his family and Arizona made to help him become eligible and avoid the NCAA's mandated transfer sit-out rule this season. Baker, who played 20 minutes and scored six points with four assists and two steals in last month's Red-Blue Game, is expected to settle in as Arizona's backup point guard this season now that he has become eligible.
The NCAA's decision to approve Baker's waiver means the Wildcats will now have 11 scholarship players available this season with fellow transfer Jordan Brown and sophomore guard Brandon Williams (knee surgery) sitting out this year.
"We would like to thank the NCAA for their consideration of Jemarl's unique situation, and we appreciate the University of Kentucky's support throughout this process," UA's basketball program said in a release through the team's Twitter account.
When speaking of Baker to the media after the team's Red-Blue Game, UA head coach Sean Miller expressed his appreciation for the newcomer's work ethic heading into his career with the Wildcats.
"Jemarl is that first to the gym, last to leave," Miller said. "Loves the game."
The Wildcats' exhibition against Chico State is set to tip at 6:30 p.m. MST.