After two games, 17-year-old Arizona guard Kylan Boswell appears ahead of schedule – Arizona Daily Star

Kylan Boswell, left, and Cedric Henderson Jr. are all smiles during the season opener Nov. 7 against Nicholls. Boswell, 17, has already made his presence felt two games into his freshman season.
There isn’t an official calculation of whether Kylan Boswell is indeed the youngest player in college basketball — but that may not matter.
Kerr Kriisa’s reaction probably says enough.
“When Kylan came and said he was 17, I almost (expletive) my pants,” the Arizona point guard said after the No. 17-ranked Wildcats beat Southern 95-78 on Friday. Kriisa then looked at the hot microphone before him and put his head down with a smile. “Sorry. Poop. Whatever.
“I mean, the kid is 17. When I was 17 — me and Pelle (Larsson) went back and looked at the photos. We didn’t even look close to what Kylan is doing on the court, the IQ he has and all kinds of stuff.”
Under normal circumstances, Boswell would be a senior in high school this fall, probably back at AZ Compass Prep for his second season after earlier playing in California and Illinois. But reclassifications — often with the help of accelerated online academic programs — are becoming more common among high-major prospects who want to skip their senior years and develop as a young freshman instead.
The difference with Boswell is that he didn’t really have a preseason, either. A broken foot in April convinced Boswell to reclassify so he could take advantage of UA’s rehabilitation capabilities but also kept him largely off the court until October.
Boswell was cleared to play fully just a week before the Wildcats’ Nov. 1 exhibition game with Western Oregon, then was thrown completely into the fire in UA’s season-opener on Nov. 7 against Nicholls, when guard Courtney Ramey began his three-game suspension and Kriisa picked up three-first half fouls.
Somebody needed to play the point. So Boswell recorded 23 minutes against Nicholls, collecting eight points, five assists and four turnovers. Then he played another 22 minutes on Friday against Southern, dishing five assists to one turnover.
Kylan Boswell pressures the ball during an exhibition game against Western Oregon on Nov. 1.
That’s 45 minutes in two games, by a guy who just started playing fully less than a month earlier … at age 17, having been born on April 18, 2005.
“I was pretty nervous going into the exhibition game and the first game but I’ve kind of gotten adjusted, prepared for the games and when you step on the court it’s just another day,” Boswell said. “Nothing too crazy.”
Because of Boswell’s injury and age, UA coach Tommy Lloyd has consistently said he wasn’t expecting him to have a major impact until well into the season, and the 10 minutes Boswell played in UA’s exhibition game against Western Oregon appeared to be part of a plan to slowly roll him into things.
But when the NCAA suspended Ramey for UA’s first three games for playing in a predraft event it did not certify, that sped up the timetable. Ramey’s absence left Kriisa and Boswell as the teams’ only point guards, though Larsson also has experience there.
Ramey is still a projected starter, expected to take minutes both on and off the ball when he returns for the Maui Invitational, but Boswell’s performance under pressure in the Wildcats’ two regular-season games has given Lloyd another option right away.
Against Nicholls, Lloyd even inserted Boswell less than four minutes into the game after Kriisa picked up two fouls. The way Boswell looked back on it, he hardly flinched.
“It’s not that big of an issue,” Boswell said. “I actually was surprised how well my foot did, not hurting and no soreness. Not a big deal for me, really.”
On Friday against Southern, Boswell shot just 1 for 5 but four of his assists came off consecutive UA scores late in the first half, helping the Wildcats take a 49-31 lead into halftime.
“Kylan’s doing a good job settling in and figuring out what it’s like to play at this level, and playing against high-pressure teams,” Lloyd said. “He’s looked pretty poised. I think once he gets some games under his belt and some minutes, he’s really going to help us, which is huge.”
Lloyd said he will let the rotation play out once Ramey returns, saying Ramey has had a strong preseason and will have a “great” season ahead. But Lloyd also said he was “more than comfortable” when Boswell is on the floor.
“I keep telling you guys I want to give him some time to develop and I’m excited to see what kind of jump he makes with a couple of games under his belt,” Lloyd said. “But you guys can see what a special talent he is and he’s only going to get better.”
And if, along the way Boswell starts reverting to that 17-year-old he actually is, he can always turn to his 21-year-old backcourt mate to straighten him out.
“Kylan’s really coming along,” Kriisa said. “Obviously, there’s a lot to learn but we’re there to help him and he’s going to be a great point guard for this program in the future.”
McKale Center was built at the University of Arizona in the early 1970s. There have been updates through the years.
Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at On Twitter: @brucepascoe
Who: Utah Tech at No. 17 Arizona (2-0)
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM
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Bruce is a veteran Star sports reporter who has also worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He graduated from Northwestern University and has an MBA from Thunderbird.

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Kylan Boswell, left, and Cedric Henderson Jr. are all smiles during the season opener Nov. 7 against Nicholls. Boswell, 17, has already made his presence felt two games into his freshman season.
Kylan Boswell pressures the ball during an exhibition game against Western Oregon on Nov. 1.
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