St. John’s junior wing Marco Bourgault has been cleared to play

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St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin will have one more player at his disposal today when the Red Storm take on Murray State in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic on Friday, as junior wing Marco Bourgault has been ruled eligible by the NCAA.

The news was first reported by The Torch, which is the student newspaper at St. John’s, and Bourgault was reportedly in class when he received the good news.

A student at St. John’s gave a first hand account of what he saw transpire in his Tuesday morning class in Sullivan Hall around 10:50 am.

“He raised his hand during class, stated he had been cleared and that he needed to leave immediately,” the student said. “He said he needed to get to South Carolina.”

Bourgault being cleared pushes the number of available scholarship players for the Red Storm to nine, with the staff looking to redshirt senior power forward God’sgift Achiuwa and still awaiting word on the status of forward Orlando Sanchez.

Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch will become eligible for game action at the end of the fall semester.

Bourgault and Sanchez both attended Monroe College (NY) last season, with the Saint-Malo, France native averaging 10.8 points per game. Bourgault is a very good perimeter shooter as he knocked down 42% of his shots from deep at Monroe in 2011-12. And he’ll fit in with the Red Storm given the number of slashers at Lavin’s disposal.

The match-up with Murray State isn’t scheduled to tip until 5:30 PM EST, and according to Marc Raimondi of the New York Post Bourgault is expected to arrive in Charleston at around 4 PM EST.

Photo credit: St. John’s University

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.