The Morning Mix

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The Morning Mix is going to be light today, as we’re heading down to the Bayou to cover the Final Four in New Orleans. But we’re guessing you are kinda tired of reading rehashed stories about the Kentucky-Louisville game.

– Kentucky is the best team in the country this year, and that’s a lead pipe lock. But are they one of the best teams of the past 25 years? Nope, not at all

– In Seth Davis’ most recent edition of Hoops Thoughts, he reveals the perfect game plan to beat Kentucky

– It’s common knowledge that Rick Pitino and John Calipari don’t like each other….Or…well, it used to be common knowledge. According to Pitino, he has no animosity towards Cal

– Rick Pitino just missed out on being part of this year’s Hall of Fame induction class

– A pretty cool read on the Jewish Coaches Association annual Final Four bagel brunch. Yeah, it sounds goofy, but there’s actually a lot of good stuff here

– For the second year in a row, a non-D1 dunker won the College Slam Dunk Contest. James Justice of Martin Methodist College (TN) stole the show with his 52-inch vertical and an array of aerial acrobatics

– The NCAA is looking at making some changes to it’s governance model

– Here’s a shocker: Could Doug Gottlieb, yes, THAT Doug Gottlieb, be interested in the head coaching vacancy at Kansas State?

– Former Wake Forest and Xavier assistant Pat Kelsey has been named the new head coach at Winthrop 

– Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall have all decided to enter the NBA draft and will not return to Chapel Hill

– Duquesne-transfer T.J. McConnell will decide between Virginia and Arizona for his new landing spot, both schools would greatly benefit from the addition of the sophomore point guard

– Jabari Parker, the top-rated junior in the country, could still be interested in Illinois now that John Groce has been named head coach

– Richie Edwards and Hrvoje Vucic has asked to transfer out of Valparaiso

The anti-One Shining Moment (Must-watch video clip)

A Gorgui Dieng highlight reel…..edited with the soundtrack from The Lion King


Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
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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
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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?