Perhaps Quade Green had a feeling a decision was nearing on his NCAA eligibility petition, which might explain why the Washington Huskies point guard worked overtime after Thursday night’s 87-63 exhibition win over Division II Western Washington.
After fans, players and coaches emptied out of Alaska Airlines Arena, Green spent nearly 30 minutes grinding through a shooting workout as a cleanup crew began converting the basketball court for an upcoming volleyball match.
Green, who could practice with the Huskies but was barred from playing in their six exhibitions, seemed unbothered by the surrounding distractions on and off the court while hoisting three-pointer after three-pointer.
On Friday afternoon, the NCAA approved the Kentucky transfer’s eligibility petition, which allows him to play immediately for the Huskies.
UW confirmed the news, which was first reported by Pete Thamel at Yahoo Sports.
If Green’s petition had been denied, then he would have missed the first nine games and was scheduled to make his UW debut on Dec. 17 against Seattle University.
Instead, the 6-foot sophomore is expected to start when Washington opens the season Nov. 8 against No. 16 Baylor in the Armed Forces Classic in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Huskies will also have their floor general for big nonconference games against Tennessee (Nov. 16) and No. 8 Gonzaga (Dec. 8).
“He’s been great,” coach Mike Hopkins said earlier this week. “He’s a basketball player. He’s out there on the court working hard every day. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. He’s been working really hard.
“He’s been great to Elijah (Hardy) and Marcus (Tsohonis) in practice. He can bring a lot of his leadership to those guys on a day-to-day basis and let them understand our system.”
Hardy started the past six exhibitions and finished with four points and five assists in 20 minutes against Western Washington. Tsohonis left Thursday’s game in the first half and didn’t return after taking an inadvertent shot to the face by Vikings player.
Washington, which tallied 20 assists and 13 turnovers against WWU, relied on the trio of Hardy, guard Jamal Bey and forward Jaden McDaniels to initiate an offense that scored on 55.3% of its possessions.
Green, a former five-star recruit, is the third McDonald’s All-American in a UW lineup that includes touted freshmen forwards Isaiah Stewart and McDaniels.
In nine games as a backup last season, Green averaged 8.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.3 turnovers, 1.0 steals and 17.8 minutes.
As a freshman in 2017-18, Green started 13 of 34 games when he averaged 9.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.6 turnovers and 25.6 minutes.
It will be exactly 11 months between games when Green makes his first appearance in a UW jersey, but Hopkins doesn’t think the layoff will be a major obstacle.
“Quade gets a lot of reps in practice,” Hopkins said. “He’s that quarterback that might not be getting reps in games because he can’t play, but he’s understanding it and he’s building connectivity with our guys and rhythm. I think that’s a big thing.”