Davies’ suspension massive hit to BYU’s Final Four hopes

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BYU’s Final Four odds just got worse.

Starting center Brandon Davies won’t play again this season for a violation of the school honor code, the school announced in a press release Tuesday. The 6-9 sophomore center started 26 games this season is their third-leading scorer (11.1) and leading rebounder (6.2) and plays significant minutes as their most reliable and biggest post presence.

By any measure, it’s a significant loss.

The school didn’t give out details of the violation.

“Due to a violation of the BYU Honor Code, Brandon Davies will not represent the university on the men’s basketball team throughout the remainder of the 2010-11 season,” the release said.

Coach Dave Rose will address the situation more after Wednesday’s game against New Mexico.

According to a story by Jason Franchuk of the Provo Daily Herald, the school found out about the violation Monday and may still be deciding if Davies will remain enrolled at BYU.

So what did he do? Hard to say. BYU’s honor code contains numerous details that would technically be violations (no beards or earrings, not to mention the rules about visiting hours), which throws Davies into different territory than someone like Michael Loyd, who left after last season due to various reasons, but none of them involved the honor code.

As for the Cougars, Davies’ absence significantly alters their lineup.

He didn’t post huge numbers in Saturday’s win over San Diego State, but consistently frustrated the Aztecs’ post players. They’re already without sophomore forward Chris Collinsworth, leaving them with three players on the roster taller than 6-6. But only junior Noah Hartsock’s played significant minutes. Expect BYU to be guard heavy often and rely even more on Jimmer Fredette.

However, that 1 seed? It’s still in reach.

Provided BYU (27-2 overall, 13-1 in MWC) beats New Mexico and Wyoming this week and reaches the Mountain West Conference tournament title games, it’s still likely. The NCAA tournament seeding committee won’t automatically drop the Cougars unless they appear to be significantly diminished without Davies. BYU can make up for his loss in the next few games.

But once they hit the Sweet 16? That’s a different story.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.