Next up for Kentucky? Re-loading.
The Wildcats should be among the teams to beat in 2012-13 despite the probability of losing all five starters and senior sixth man Darius Miller. Center Anthony Davis, the national player of the year, is a lock to be the No. 1 overall selection. Wing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and forward Terrence Jones are lottery picks. Point guard Marquis Teague boosted his draft stock with a superb title game, while shooting guard Doron Lamb merely led all scorers in the 67-59 win against Kansas.
Not that any of them were willing to commit to the NBA after the win. Bask in the victory first, then decide.
“I’m going to wait, sit down with my coach, sit down with my family, see what the best decision is for me,” Davis said.
There’s little doubt he’s going. Same goes for the others. Kentucky coach John Calipari’s always maintained he’s proudest when his players get selected in the NBA draft. When five guys were taken in the 2010 draft, he declared it the biggest moment in school history.
They might get six this season. But even Calipari was coy about when any of the players might decide. The NCAA’s deadline to withdraw a player’s name from the NBA draft is April 11. That’s much earlier than the NBA’s deadline.
“We’re not going to worry about the (NCAA) date. Our guys will tell me when they want to tell me … whenever the date is to make a decision by the NBA standards,” Calipari said. “That’s the only one we’re going to the think about. So if they want to wait to make a decision by the (29th) when they have to by the NBA, that’s when they’ll make it.
“We’re not even … I don’t even know the other date, nor do I care.”
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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 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?