Barclays Center Classic - Morehead State v LIU Brooklyn

LIU Brooklyn loses reigning NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd due to torn ACL

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The 2012-13 season was expected to be a special one for LIU Brooklyn as the Blackbirds welcomed back many of the players who played a role in the program winning consecutive NEC titles.

Even with Jim Ferry moving on to take over at Duquesne, the presences of players such as forwards Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere and guards Jason Brickman and C.J. Garner was seen as enough to make sure LIU remained in its perch atop the NEC.

However those hopes have taken a significant hit, as it was reported by Nelson Castillo of Blackbirds Hoops Journal that Boyd would miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL. Boyd suffered the injury diving for a loose ball in LIU’s 97-70 win at Rice on Wednesday night.

This is the latest turn in a college career that began with Boyd earning NEC Rookie of the Year honors following the 2008-09 season, only to see his entire 2009-10 season end before it began due to a heart ailment. Boyd would bounce back to earn First Team All-NEC honors in the next two years, winning NEC Player of the Year last season.

2012-13 didn’t get off to the best start as Boyd was one of four players suspended for the Blackbirds’ first two conference games due to their involvement in an on-campus brawl, and LIU dropped their first four games before beginning their current four-game win streak.

In eight games Boyd averaged 18.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and the hope is that he will be eligible to receive a medical hardship waiver. Per NCAA rules you cannot play in more than 30% of your team’s games in order to be eligible for a waiver, and with 30 games (not counting the NEC tournament or postseason play) on the Blackbirds’ schedule Boyd falls below that threshold.

With Boyd out of the lineup head coach Jack Perri will rely even more on Jamal Olasewere (19.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg), who tallied 26 points and eight rebounds in the win at Rice. With Boyd done for the year and Kenny Onyechi just returning from a broken foot that sidelined him for the first six games, players such as E.J. Reed and Booker Hucks will be asked to do more as well.

Does Boyd’s injury rule out a third straight title for LIU? No, but it certainly makes the road to that crown much tougher to navigate.

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
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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?