Jordan Mason, Spencer Dinwiddie

Spencer Dinwiddie spoke but then backed up his words in win over Colorado State

Leave a comment

One reason why rivalry games are so entertaining is the fact that players tend to make far more candid statements than usual. That was the case for Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie the day before the Buffaloes took on Colorado State in Boulder.

“You just kind of see when the little brother beats the big brother once, then they are going to be happy, they are going to rush the court,” Dinwiddie remarked. “When we win tomorrow night, I don’t think our fans are going to do that.”

It’s one thing to talk the talk and another to back it up. Dinwiddie did just that in the Buffaloes’ 70-61 win over Colorado State on Wednesday night, scoring a game-high 29 points and dishing out three assists.

Colorado head coach Tad Boyle showed his players video of Colorado State fans rushing the court at the end of last year’s game, a 65-54 CSU win in Fort Collins, and the tactic paid off as the Buffs stampeded out of the gates and eventually led by as many as 25 points.

But the viewing of said video may have led to Dinwiddie’s comment, one that Boyle said that he plans to address.

“Well I have to talk to Spencer about that, but I purposefully didn’t say anything to him about it before the game, I wanted to see if he was going to back it up or not,” Boyle said following the win.

“And he backed it up now, but we have to be smarter of how we approach the media, because we don’t want to make a habit out of that. The thing I love about Spencer is he believes in himself, he believes in his teammates, and he played tonight like an All-Pac 12 player.”

Dinwiddie also got the job done on the defensive end of the floor, as he limited Wes Eikmeier to seven points and no assists on 3-of-15 shooting from the field. Colton Iverson (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Dorian Green (18 points) led the way for the Rams, who would fight back to within three (54-51) but could not get over the hump.

If there’s a pressing concern for Colorado to address in the aftermath of last night’s game it would have to be their second half foul shooting. Colorado made 12 of their 25 free throws in the second half, and for the season their percentage (68.1%) ranks ninth in the Pac-12. Last night wasn’t as bad as the 4-of-18 performance put forth in their win over Baylor, but Colorado’s proficiency at the charity stripe is something that they’ll want to clean up.

As for Dinwiddie, who was Colorado’s best foul shooter last night (8-of-10), it will feel much better to have a conversation about his statement following his performance.

“It was an analogy, but I think they took it as disrespectful. I didn’t mean it in a disrespectful manner; I have a lot of respect for their team. They have a lot of good players and senior leadership so I wasn’t trying to disrespect their team in any way.”

Luckily for Dinwiddie his “little brother” comment didn’t have a conclusion similar to that of former Michigan running back Mike Hart.

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

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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?