Talbott Denny‘s opportunity to play for his hometown Arizona Wildcats was stripped after the fifth-year senior suffered a serious knee injury before the season began, but it appears he will get another opportunity to make it happen.
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star writes that Denny’s request for a sixth year is expected to be granted by the NCAA.
“The grad transfer from Lipscomb is expected to get approval for a sixth year in 2017-18 because he missed two seasons due to injuries,” Pascoe wrote.
The Tucson native likely would not have had a major role with the Wildcats this past season, but at minimum, he would have been asked to contribute when UA was down to seven scholarship players at different points in the year.
"[Sean Miller] said he can see me like a [Matt] Korcheck type of deal, where I come in for a couple minutes when somebody is in foul trouble or something like that," Denny told the Daily Wildcat before the season. "He told me, ‘I want you to be a role model and a leader for the younger guys who we’re bringing in.’"
At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Denny profiles as a 2 or 3 (maybe even a 4), likely putting him behind Allonzo Trier, Brandon Randolph, and Dylan Smith in Arizona’s rotation (and potentially Rawle Alkins) if he’s on the roster next season.
Denny was a 34.8 percent 3-point shooter at Lipscomb, but that was in a small sample size, as he only attempted 48 3s in 60 games.
Denny did show prowess on the glass, grabbing 8.3 rebounds per 40 minutes as junior at Lipscomb, which would have ranked fourth on the Wildcats this past season.
In all likelihood, Denny will have a minuscule role with Arizona, but as the Wildcats experienced this season, a team can never have too many scholarship players on the roster. Plus, Denny getting a chance to play for his hometown team would be cool to see.
At the same time, if Denny does get a sixth year, it will obviously prevent Arizona from adding another scholarship player in his stead, though it is rather late in the recruiting process anyway, so it’s not like the Wildcats would have a ton of options — their best bet would be on the transfer market.
Even still, with Kadeem Allen, Lauri Markkanen and Kobi Simmons on the way out and Alkins and Chance Comanche potentially right behind them, the Wildcats may have a couple spots to fill even if Denny is granted a sixth year.