The Morning Mix

Leave a comment

Luke Winn’s Power Rankings is always a weekly must-read

–  Illinois is playing so poorly that Bruce Weber might be out of a job. But he certainly didn’t do himself any favors at the post-game press conference on Wednesday night

– The first thing Karl Benson wants to do as Sun Belt Commissioner is expand the conference. Of course it is

– If you watch the NCAA Tournament on the internet, you may have to pony-up some cash this year

– Ole Miss got destroyed by Vanderbilt 102-76. But to make matters worse, teammates Jelan Kendrick and Reginald Buckner had to be separated in the tunnel area after getting into a post-game altercation

– Speaking of the SEC, Mike Huguenin gets us caught up to speed on the rest of the conference happenings

– Florida State’s Michael Snaer continues to climb up the “Most Clutch” charts thanks to his game-winning 3-pointer against Virginia Tech last night. Seriously, Snaer has now hit two identical game-winners

– It seems like Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is in the running for National Coach of the Year every single season

The Drexel Dragons have won 14-straight and have a pivotal showdown with Cleveland State this weekend

– If the North Carolina Tar Heels win the National Championship, Harrison Barnes is going to go pro, says Harrison Barnes

– Two police officers in Lawrence, KS have been suspended for fixing traffic tickets in exchange for KU basketball tickets

– As if Ivy League graduates don’t already have something to brag about. Now they can add “I played against ‘Linsanity’ ” to their list of bragging rights

Mike DeCourcy has the answers to five important college hoops questions

– Despite a 7-21 last place record in the Missouri Valley Conference, Bradley head coach Geno Ford has no regrets about leaving Akron

– Kentucky guard Marquis Teague is doing what all Calipari’s freshman guards do: improve as the season progresses; But Teague has benefited from a slower pace of play

– If my team blew a 20-point second-half lead at Cameron Indoor Stadium, I’d want to leave the ACC too

– Wake Forest recruit Devin Thomas shattered a backboard during the Mid-Penn League Championship  Game

– Portland State’s Chehales Tapscott has an awesome name. But his middle name is ever better. Yeah, even better than “Chehales Tapscott.” Trust me

– The Marist Red Foxes are starting to put it all together towards the end of the season. Sure, they have no post-season aspirations, but the program is starting to develop more quickly than people expected

– This is an interesting statistic from Wednesday night: Oakland became the first team all season to have four starters fail to register a single field-goal

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Leave a comment

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?