So who didn’t vote Cody Zeller a preseason all-american?


The AP released their Preseason All-American team on Monday, and none of the names on the list should come as a surprise to you.

Indiana’s Cody Zeller was the leading vote-getter, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as he is generally thought of as the consensus Preseason Player of the Year. Here’s the team in its entirety, with the number of votes out of 65 in parentheses:

Cody Zeller, So., Indiana (64)
Doug McDermott, Jr., Creighton (62)
Isaiah Canaan, Sr., Murray State (43)
Deshaun Thomas, Jr., Ohio State (26)
(tie) CJ McCollum, Sr., Lehigh (16)
(tie) Trey Burke, So., Michigan (16)

The talking point here is that three of the six players that were named Preseason All-Americans are from conferences a long way from the BCS. Creighton plays in the Missouri Valley, Murray State resides in the Ohio Valley, and CJ McCollum plays in the lowly Patriot League. That’s pretty incredible.

It’s also pretty impressive to think that there was only one power conference — the Big Ten — that produced a player on this list.

What I want to know, however, is who left Zeller off their ballot? One person did, and I hope they fess up, because I’d love to know how they can possibly justify leaving the player that just about everyone else thinks is the best in the country. Because from where I’m sitting, it makes absolutely no sense.

Anyway, here are all of the other players that received votes for the first-team:

Kenny Boynton, Florida; Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State; Aaron Craft, Ohio State; Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State; Solomon Hill, Arizona; Pierre Jackson, Baylor; C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State; James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina; Tony Mitchell, North Texas; Mike Moser, UNLV; Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA; Nerlens Noel, Kentucky; Otto Porter, Georgetown; Phil Pressey, Missouri; Peyton Siva, Louisville; Michael Snaer, Florida State; Jeff Withey, Kansas.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

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?