Scott Machado

Some good collegians didn’t hear their names called on Thursday

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With only 60 draft picks there are some talented players who won’t get to hear their names called on draft night.

And thanks to some teams preferring to use their second round selections on European projects they can stash overseas for a couple years, there’s bound to be fans up in arms over some of the players who aren’t picked.

Here are some of the surprises from Thursday’s NBA Draft, including a point guard who some thought had a shot of getting into the first round at one point in time.

1. PG Scott Machado (Iona)
Machado not being drafted was a surprise, especially when his hometown Knicks could have used some help at the point with pick number 48. But the Knicks went in another direction, selecting small forward Kostas Papanikolaou instead. All Machado did last season was lead the nation in assists per game (9.9), and for a draft that so many said was weak at the point guard position it’s bizarre that he wasn’t picked.

2. SF Kevin Jones (West Virginia)
Have to wonder if the fact that Jones played power forward for much of his time in Morgantown hurt his draft prospects. But the fact remains that Jones averaged 19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, and there were more than a few people who felt that he should have been Big East Player of the Year.

Is he in some regards a man without a position at the next level? That can definitely be argued, but given Jones’ production it’s hard to believe that no one felt compelled to draft him in the latter stages of the second round.

3. PF Drew Gordon (New Mexico)
Gordon’s career may not have gotten off to the best of starts at UCLA but he was highly productive in two seasons at New Mexico. Gordon averaged a double-double both seasons, leading the Lobos to the Mountain West tournament crown and a five-seed in the NCAA tournament last season. Having averaged 13.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, Gordon’s going to warrant a long look for a summer league spot.

4. PG Tu Holloway (Xavier)
Holloway’s senior season was short-circuited in some regards by the brawl between the Musketeers and rival Cincinnati in December. But in spite of his (and Xavier’s) mid-season issues they still reached the Sweet 16. Holloway averaged 17.5 points and 4.9 assists per game, and he’s a tough floor general who can get his own offense while running a team.

5. SG William Buford (Ohio State)
Buford returned to school looking to redeem himself from his offensive performance in Ohio State’s Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky. But while he left Columbus as one of the school’s all-time leading scorers Buford’s shooting percentages dropped considerably, as he shot 42% from the field and 36% from three. If Buford can show himself to be a consistent shooter on a summer league team he could earn a training camp spot.

The good news for these players (and the others who weren’t drafted) is that they’ll get chances to prove themselves in the NBA Summer League.

While draft night is the “glamorous” way in which to enter the NBA, there’s no rule saying that an undrafted free agent can’t play their way in.

Plus, going undrafted allows players to find the situation that best fits their skill set while also giving them the best chance to make a roster.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at 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?