On Sunday evening, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dropped a firecracker of truth onto Marquette basketball fans: Freshman guard Haanif Cheatham doesn't have NCAA clearance to play in games yet, so he won't be able to play in the games on the European trip.
So that sucks.
If you fire on over to the story that Velazquez wrote, you'll discover that this is essentially a procedural issue. All freshmen have to go through the NCAA's clearinghouse in order to be eligible to play their particular sport, and because fall sports are more important to work on than sports that don't start their games until November, sometimes freshmen basketball players aren't cleared to play in early August.
Of course, this means that the NCAA has had no problem clearing Sacar Anim, Traci Carter, Henry Ellenson, or Matt Heldt. It also means that the NCAA is kind of goofy. Teams are only allowed to take these summertime foreign trips once every four years, so you'd think that maybe, just maybe, the clearinghouse would, y'know, shove the freshmen for those schools to the top of the pile.
To add an extra layer of dumb on top of this, the NCAA informed Marquette that not only is Cheatham not cleared to play, but they won't be approving him to play over the next two weeks while the team is in Europe, either. Yay for bureaucracy, y'all.
The good news is that Cheatham will still be able to go on the trip. He'll still get to participate in practices and shoot arounds while in Europe, not to mention do all the fun, tourist-y, team bonding type of stuff that the team will do while over there.
Velazquez also reports that head coach Steve Wojciechowski says that he expects to jumble the lineups around an awful lot on the European trip, which was probably the plan before the NCAA didn't clear Cheatham. Duane Wilson was sharing time with Carter at point guard at practice on Sunday, while Heldt saw time at both forward and center.
The article also includes a section talking to Jajuan Johnson on his new and improved jump shot. While I appreciate the work he's put in, I'm going to wait to see what Johnson does in actual game conditions before I get too fired up about his ability to bomb away from long range.