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Indiana transfer Bendu Yeaney granted immediate eligibility at Arizona, a big boost for the Wildcats

Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics

The rich just got richer.

Arizona announced Wednesday that Bendu Yeaney, a transfer from Indiana, has been granted immediate eligibility.

The 5-foot-10 junior will add even more depth to the Wildcats, who were already projected to be a top-10 team. A tremendous athlete, Yeaney can back up Shaina Pellington and Sam Thomas on the wing and make Arizona an even more tenacious defensive team.

The Portland native can score, too. She averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals across 76 career games at Indiana (69 starts) and once shot 39 percent from 3 for a season.

“We are thrilled to have Bendu eligible for this season, we just got a lot better,” head coach Adia Barnes said in a statement. “I’ve known and had a great relationship with her for a long time and I can’t wait to coach her. She’s a great kid and adds a ton to our team not just on the court, but off the court as well. Her defensive intensity and athleticism is going to take our team to another level and I can’t wait to see her play in the Pac-12. I would like to thank the NCAA for their consideration of Bendu’s situation, and I am grateful that she was ruled eligible.”

Yeaney (pronounced “yay-nee”) also learned this offseason that she will have two years of eligibility at Arizona instead of one. Yeaney played three seasons at Indiana, but only eight games in 2019-20 as she recovered from a torn Achilles. The NCAA granted her a hardship waiver.

Barnes mentioned earlier this offseason that Yeaney could redshirt in 2020-21 so she has even more time to recover from her injury, which she suffered in March 2019, but said in September that Yeaney has looked good in preseason training.

“I’m excited to do something special on the floor with my teammates,” Yeaney said in a statement. “We have major goals for the season and I can’t wait to show out in front of Wildcat Nation.”

My depth chart projection now that Yeaney is eligible

  • PG: Aari McDonald/Helena Pueyo/Derin Erdogan
  • SG: Shaina Pellington/Mara Mote/Tara Manumaleuga
  • SF: Sam Thomas/Bendu Yeaney
  • PF: Cate Reese/Lauren Ware/Marta Garcia
  • C: Trinity Baptiste/Semaj Smith/Sevval Gül