The Morning Mix

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– The big news of the day is that legendary women’s coach Pat Summitt is stepping down at Tennessee. She won eight national championships in 38 seasons but was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease back in August. Summitt’s legacy goes well beyond just wins and titles. You can debate how popular women’s basketball truly is,  but it would not be where it is today if it was not for Pat Summitt. In short, for the last 25 years or so, she has been women’s college  basketball.

– Dan Wetzel and Jeff Goodman both weigh-in on the Jarrod Uthoff fiasco. Wisconsin has now blocked Uthoff from transferring from 25 different schools. Bo Ryan finally addressed the situation, but doesn’t really explain anything. Oh and the university almost lost Uthoff’s appeal letter, so there’s that too. Basically, nothing good ever comes of this. Just let the kid already

– Pat Forde cannot understand why SMU would want to hire 72-year old Larry Brown as their new head coach. But Brown still hasn’t officially signed on the dotted line yet. David Steele thinks that even at 72 years of age, Brown can transform this team

– Deron Snyder reminds us that if we had the chance to leave college after a national championship in order to make NBA money, we probably would (And he’s right)

– ESPN’s Ric Bucher wrote a solid article about Isaiah Thomas’ tenure at FIU. While “Zeke” didn’t have the best record, his players loved playing for him, and they excelled in the classroom under his watch

Basketball rivalry trophies? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, and yes.

– Fran Frascilla put together a fantastic list of breakout players to watch for next season

– Rush The Court provided a great list of instant impact transfers to be on the look out for in 2012-2013

– C.J Leslie will return to North Carolina State for his junior season. His presence will make the Wolf Pack one of the preseason favorites to win the ACC next season

The U.S. Senate actually passed a bill congratulating Kentucky on their National Championship. Really fellas? Fix the BCS, fix expansionocalypse. Hell, fix transfer-blocking. But don’t waste tax-payer money on bills congratulating teams (Even though it probably doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to get done from start to finish)

– Speaking of the ACC, a lot of teams will see a lot of roster turnover in the off-season, which could make for an interesting 2012-2013 season

– Toledo will join UConn among the ranks of teams banned from postseason play in 2013 due to low APR scores. The university lobbied for an appeal, but it was denied

– Speaking of Toledo, they got some good news as well. Loyola’s Justin Drummond, the MAAC Sixth Man of the Year, is transferring in to their program

– USC-transfer Ari Stewart will not be charged with marijuana possession stemming from an arrest in February. Instead he will have to go through a drug diversion program

– This Zach Tomaselli character is a troubled human being. A week after claiming he lied about everything involving the Bernie Fine abuse allegations, he went back to his original statements

– provides an update on the nonsensical MWC/C-USA merger fiasco

UCLA and Texas will play a game next season at Reliant Stadium, the home of the Houston Texans, and the site of the 2011 Final Four

– This is said a lot, but it’s very true for Minnesota: Next season is a very important year for the Golden Gophers program

– Kim English, a college hoops media favorite, used game film and personal evaluation to improve his game this past season

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?