Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal celebrates his team's win over the Marquette Golden Eagles during the NCAA men's West Regional basketball tournament in Phoenix

Florida’s Bradley Beal to enter the NBA Draft

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According to a report from Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, Florida freshman wing Bradley Beal will announce his intention to enter the 2012 NBA Draft on Friday.

Beal averaged 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Gators, earning SEC All-Freshman and First Team All-SEC honors as a result.

According to DraftExpress.com the St. Louis native ranks fifth among NBA Draft prospects, projecting Beal to be a lottery selection in this year’s draft.

In terms of the Gators’ roster makeup for next season, Beal’s departure puts them back at 12 scholarships with 2012 forward Anthony Bennett still on the board.

Florida received a commitment from DeVon Walker on Thursday, which put them at their full allotment of 13 scholarships at the time.

One has to wonder if Billy Donovan and his staff had an idea of what Beal was going to do when making that offer, and by the look of things they did.

According to Chris Harry of Gatorzone.com, Beal informed Donovan of his decision while holding back tears on Monday afternoon in the head coach’s office.

“I got very emotional when I was telling him. I love this place. I love this program. I really bought into the whole experience,” said Beal.

“I may not have had the best [season] I could have had, but in terms of just fun and enjoying the game it could not have been any better.”

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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?