Hours after the NCAA cleared him to play, Kentucky freshman Zvonimir Ivisic produced one of the more memorable debuts of the season in the Wildcats' 105-96 win over Georgia on Saturday.

Ivisic finished with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two steals in 16 minutes off the bench, shooting 5-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

He also was assessed a flagrant foul in the first half after his elbow made contact with Georgia's Silas Demary Jr. and a technical foul in the second half for hanging on the rim after a dunk.

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"It felt amazing," Ivisic said. "I was enjoying the moment, enjoying it with the crowd."

It was the remarkable five-minute stretch to open his career that generated plenty of buzz, though. In those five minutes, the 7-foot-2 Croatian had 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks, making all three of his 3-point attempts. Kentucky was plus-22 on the scoreboard during that span.

Ivisic scored eight straight Kentucky points during one stretch, including one play where he grabbed a defensive rebound, started the break, passed the ball to D.J. Wagner, then spread out to the wing, where he received a pass back from Wagner and buried a catch-and-shoot jumper.

Less than six hours before tipoff, Ivisic was cleared to play by the NCAA after fighting for his eligibility the entire season.

He posted a video on social media announcing the news, with Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart confirming it moments later.

"Hey BBN, guess what? I'm free," Ivisic said. "See y'all tonight at the game. Thank you for all the support. Go BBN!"

Ivisic was considered one of the best international prospects entering this season, with scouts impressed by his shot-making and finishing ability. But he wasn't admitted into the school until early October and has been awaiting clearance from the NCAA for the past three months.

Kentucky fans attempted to put pressure on the NCAA earlier this month when it raised money to put up a #FreeBigZ billboard near NCAA headquarters.

This week, coach John Calipari discussed the university's battle with the NCAA over Ivisic's eligibility on his radio show.

"It's not fair to him," he said. "And then it's taking the NCAA even more time to look at the facts. There are European kids playing all around the country, but they're playing and he's not?"

After Kentucky's win Saturday, Calipari said he was pleased with the big man's debut and happy he was finally cleared.

"He's got a ways to go," Calipari said. "But it was a good start for him. It took a long, long time, but I appreciate the work everybody did to make it happen."

Kentucky, ranked No. 8 in this week's AP poll, improved to 14-3 with the win over Georgia. The Wildcats head to South Carolina and Arkansas next week.