Shaqquan Aaron 'really ready' for first game

University of Louisville freshman Shaqquan Aaron is available for the first time this season on Saturday when the Cardinals play Western Kentucky at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky., at noon. Aaron and U of L coach Rick Pitino talk about what to expect from the frosh.

It's been a frustrating couple of months for University of Louisville freshman basketball player Shaqquan Aaron, who came to the Cardinals from Seattle.

The NCAA began investigating the amateur status of the 6-foot-7 wing back in the summer and there wasn't a resolution until last week.

The NCAA was looking into a tuition payment made when Aaron was a freshman at Mater Dei High in the Los Angeles area. And it determined that Aaron's family received "extra benefits related to housing," according to a U of L statement.

The punishment was a nine-game suspension.

Now, that suspension is complete and the U of L freshman said he was "really ready" to play in his first official game as a U of L player. He'll be suited up for the first time on Saturday when the Cardinals play Western Kentucky at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

"It's been pretty frustrating," Aaron said. "But I tried to turn it into a positive, every day sitting there on the bench watching my teammates.

"I learned a lot of little things while I was sitting and watching."

Aaron said at first he didn't think there was any way he would miss a lot of time because "I didn't do anything wrong," but as the games mounted he started to fret.

"After the sixth or seventh game, I was thinking like 'Whoa this has been a while'," Aaron said. "But now I get to play, so that's all that matters."

U of L coach Rick Pitino

"He's coming along fine just like the other freshmen," Pitino told Cardinal Authority on Thursday night. "But he's turning the ball over too much and doesn't play great defensively, those have been his two weaknesses. But he has a lot of talent.

"I don't know how much time he will see against Western but down the road we expect him to play and be a contributor."

A two-time first-team AP Class 3-A All-State selection and the Washington State player of the year as a senior, Aaron averaged 19.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists last season in leading Rainier Beach High School to the Washington Class 3A state championship.


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