Tyler Olander's hopes of playing for UConn next season may have improved considerably Monday morning thanks to a favorable outcome for his DUI case.
Olander plead guilty to driving without a license but the more serious DUI charge was dropped, the New Haven Register reported. UConn coach Kevin Ollie indefinitely suspended Olander earlier this month in the wake of his Sept. 7 arrest when he failed a field sobriety test after police pulled him over on a Connecticut highway.
The arrest appeared to threaten Olander's season because it was his second run-in with police in the past six months. Olander was also arrested in Florida during spring break last March when he lacked the requisite wrist band needed to be within a gated property and refused to leave at 2 a.m. when confronted by police.
Olander told the Register he's hopeful he'll be able to rejoin the team in the near future.
"That's my goal, and God willing, I'll be back," he said. "I hope people don't see these past incidents as a reflection of who I am. I hope they see me as a good kid that just made some mistakes, as everybody does."
It's critical for UConn that Olander rejoins the team because the guard-heavy Huskies are counting on him in the frontcourt. Though Olander's 4.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game last season may not sound like much, UConn does not have any better options to start alongside forward Deandre Daniels.
The best option besides Olander is slender but promising forward Kentan Facey, but the Jamaican native has yet to be cleared to play next season by the NCAA. If he's ineligible and Olander isn't available to start the season, that leaves seldom-used forwards Philip Nolan and Leon Tolksdorf or freshman Amida Brimah, a raw seven-footer who picked the Huskies over Old Dominion, Florida International, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech.