Tubby Smith confirms Al Nolen’s ineligibility

Marco LaNave

Junior guard Al Nolen of the University of Minnesota men’s basketball team will miss Saturday’s game against Michigan State because of academic issues, Gophers coach Tubby Smith confirmed on Friday.

The University is appealing the ruling by the NCAA earlier this week that Nolen is academically ineligible.

Nolen leads the Big Ten in steals and leads the Gophers with 4.6 assists per game.

Smith said he didn’t know how long Nolen would be unable to play, but Smith said sophomore Devoe Joseph will start at point guard in place of Nolen. Joseph is second on the team with 2.4 assists per game.