NCAA Basketball Tournament - Louisville v Michigan State

Mum’s the word for Louisville forward Chane Behanan this semester

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There have been questions and speculation amongst Louisville fans in regards to the silence of sophomore forward Chane Behanan.

And after Louisville’s second intra-squad scrimmage, which was won 85-74 by the Red team, on Sunday head coach Rick Pitino addressed the situation.

Behanan has been given a gag order of sorts, as he has been banned from speaking to the media for the entire fall semester and will also have to sit out the Cardinals’ November 1 exhibition against Pikeville.

Why was Behanan banned from speaking and suspended from the team’s first exhibition? It looks to be a teachable moment and not much more than that.

Pitino said Sunday that Behanan was involved in some unspecified ”incidents” this summer and was warned that another would lead to him missing games.

I spoke to a source close the situation tonight who confirmed that Pitino is true to his word.

“Pitino is telling the media accurate information,” the source explained. “Chane broke curfew a couple of times this summer. There may have been some Twitter and Facebook things, too.”

In Pitino’s post-scrimmage press conference he said that the disciplinary action wasn’t a big deal and Behanan will be fine.

“Rules are rules,” said Pitino. “If you tell your son to be home by midnight and he comes home at 2 AM what are you going to tell your son? Don’t do it next time? And what if he does it again, what are you going to tell him?”

In Sunday’s scrimmage the sophomore finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Last season Behanan averaged 9.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, and he reached double figures in scoring in all five of the Cardinals’ NCAA tournament games.

While the Cardinals are a deep basketball team they can’t afford for a talented player like Behanan to have issues, so there really isn’t any harm in Pitino making sure the offseason message gets through now as opposed to allowing things to fester.

Also of note in the scrimmage was that senior point guard Peyton Siva rolled an ankle and George Mason transfer Luke Hancock scored a game-high 29 points.

Pitino didn’t sound concerned about Siva’s injury, and stated that a positive in the preseason Big East Player of the Year playing just seven minutes is that it gave Hancock more time at the point.

“We’re going to have to use him there,” Pitino said. “You can see when he came off the pick and roll the difference between him and Russ. Russ was looking to score every time, and he (Luke) was looking to throw a lob dunk and set somebody up.”

Kevin Ware also saw minutes at the point on Sunday, and the more options the Cardinals have in regards to handling the ball the better when considering just how banged up Siva was last season.

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?