The freshman power forward is still waiting to hear if the NCAA will clear him to play in the 2015-16 college basketball season. There are allegations that Skal's guardian, Gerald Hamilton, asked about making profit off of Skal during his high school career, which has led the NCAA to investigate.
Head coach John Calipari has stressed all along that he believed Skal would be eligible to play this year when all is said and done. At Media Day, Calipari didn't want to talk about Skal's eligibility, saying, "Everything is good to go."
Cal also said he doesn't understand where "this firestorm" came from and is amazed at how the concerns around Skal have blown up. He also explained how this is something many players around the country go through, and we may not hear a final word on Skal until right before the first game.
"Every year we’ve been here, players go through the review," Cal said of the NCAA review process. "You won’t believe this: It’s always the best players that get the review. There's probably 50 players who have a review. Last year, we had five players who were under review. I feel really good about what my team is going to look like on the first day."
We may not hear the final word on Skal until closer to the start of the season, but it's good to see Calipari is still expressing confidence that arguably his best player will be good to go.
Another big question surrounding the Cats is the health of senior forward Alex Poythress. After tearing his ACL last December, Poythress is still working his way back to full health. Calipari said Poythress is at "about 75%" of the way back to full health.
"We need him to be something, Cal said. "He’s going to be a beast."
If that is the case, then it's probably unrealistic to expect Alex to be at his best until after the regular season has began. Torn ACLs can take as long as a full year to fully come back from, which means we may not see Poythress playing like his beastly self until we're into December.