Washington junior point guard Quade Green, who had started 14 of 15 games for the 11-4 Huskies, has been ruled academically ineligible to compete in the winter quarter and will not be able to return to the team until March, at the earliest.
A first-year transfer from Kentucky, Green was averaging 11.6 points and 5.3 assists and brought a strong dose of experience to a team starting two elite freshmen, wing Jaden McDaniels and big man Isaiah Stewart.
The winter term ends March 13, so it is conceivable he could be available for part of the Pacific-12 Conference Tournament and any postseason games the Huskies might earn.
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Jeff Goodman of Stadium was first to report on Green’s ineligibility.
His absence will be a massive blow to a Huskies team hoping to return to the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive year under coach Mike Hopkins. Hopkins was using only a six-man rotation, with those players averaging between 23 and 33 minutes per game.
It also takes another chunk out of Green’s college career; he gave up 28 games of his sophomore eligibility to leave Kentucky at the semester break last season. Now he will miss at least the remainder of UW’s Pac-12 regular season, another 16 games.
The Huskies began the day at No. 41 in the NCAA’s NET rankings, a solid contender for an NCAA bid, but functioing without Green will be a massive challenge. He was averaging more than 30 minutes per game. He scored in double figures in each of his first two Pac-12 games, including 14 in a victory Sunday over Southern California. His season high was a 20-point effort in a non-league game against Eastern Washington.
Green’s replacement is expected to be freshman Elijah Hardy, who had scored just 11 points all season. He was a three-star recruit according to 247 Sports and ranked 201st in the 2019 senior class.
Hopkins told reporter Lauren Kirschman of Tacoma’s News-Tribune that Hardy’s energy level is “booming” but that he tended to be “all over the place.” He is looking to see Hardy bring more discipline to his play, especially on defense, acknowledging it’s hard to establish these qualities in 8 minutes a game.
“He’s done a heck of a job. He’s impacted winning for us in the minutes he’s played,” Hopkins said. “It’s hard. I tell him all the time: Don’t let me be a coach that takes away your confidence. I want the most confident Elijah Hardy. We just have to coach him through, ‘I don’t like that shot, but I loved when you did this.'”