Myck Kabongo

Texas will be without Myck Kabongo and Jaylen Bond for Friday’s opener

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NCAA investigations can be a tough situation for both the player and the team for which they play, because there’s rarely a set timeframe in regards to the decision-making process.

The longer an investigation takes the more it becomes an undeclared suspension so to speak, with the player having to sit until the NCAA reaches a verdict (recall how long Renardo Sidney sat a couple years ago before the NCAA handed down a lengthy suspension).

Texas point guard Myck Kabongo finds himself in that spot, and it was reported that the sophomore would have to sit out the Longhorns’ season opener against Fresno State as a result of the NCAA continuing to look into his relationship with agent Rich Paul.

For a team with just two upperclassmen (seniors Andrew Dick and Dean Melchionni, who played in ten games combined last year) losing the player expected to lead the way is a tough blow heading into Friday’s opener.

And Kabongo won’t be the only player out of the lineup for Texas, as McComas also reported that sophomore forward Jaylen Bond is day-to-day with a sprained right ankle. Bond played in all 34 games for the Longhorns last season, starting five games and averaging 3.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Losing Bond hurts but the loss of Kabongo is the bigger issue for Texas, especially when considering the fact that you never know how long an NCAA inquiry will take. Freshman Javan Felix is capable of running the show and he’ll be the one who gets the call tomorrow night, but the Longhorns can’t afford for Kabongo to miss an extended period of time.

You could have a spirited discussion over how the NCAA handles investigations, as well as whether or not a third party should handle the enforcement of rules.

But that won’t do Texas (or any other school in a similar situation) much good. All the Longhorns and their fans know for certain is that their point guard won’t play tomorrow night, and they don’t know when he’ll be back either.

Could that open the door for a young Fresno State team hoping to work towards being a formidable team in the Mountain West? Possibly.

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?