The Morning Mix

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– A fantastic-read on what the high school recruit can do to take back the power

– Rush The Court believes that Larry Brown could actually be successful at SMU….This should be interesting. Brown is 72-years old. How is he going to be able to recruit top-level players?

– Dick Vitale drops his top-40 rankings for the 2012-2013 season. Read it, BABY!

– Once again, Mike DeCourcy nailed it on the head

Dana O’Neil previews a strong list of impact transfers to watch for next season

– Josiah Turner, the oft-troubled former-Arizona guard, could be headed to St. John’s. Around this same time last year, another oft-troubled former-Arizona guard, Lamont “MoMo” Jones, was also considering St. John’s

– ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla is reportedly a strong candidate for the North Texas head coach opening

– Xavier-transfer Mark Lyons is being sought after by some of the heavy-hitters in college hoops: Kentucky, Kansas and Arizona

– Virginia Tech fired head coach Seth Greenberg yesterday after nine years on the job. Some thoughts on the firing from the VaTech blogosphere.  But Jeff Goodman explains the situation perfectly. Make sure you read this

– Highly touted big-man Tony Parker has decided to attend UCLA. The Bruins have a loaded recruiting class coming in, but does that mean they will be a better team next season? Four years ago, Ben Howland brought in a loaded recruiting class, and it turned out to be nothing but mediocrity. In short, bringing in a fantastic recruiting class doesn’t ensure success

– Mississippi Valley State head coach Sean Woods is expected to interview with Southern Miss for their opening due to Larry Eustachy’s departure for Colorado State. Middle Tennessee head coach Kermit Davis is also in the running, and has the track record deserving of this job

– Albany was supposed to be the favorites to win the America East Conference heading in to next season. But in the past 70 hours, the two best players for the Danes have decided to leave school. But despite this, head coach Will Brown has been given a two-year extension with the school

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?