ACC Basketball Tournament - Wake Forest v Maryland

Wake Forest lands 2014 point guard Shelton Mitchell

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Late Friday night, 2014 point guard, Shelton Mitchell (Cuthbertson High/Waxhaw, N.C.) came off the recruiting board, as he announced he would attend Wake Forest.

Mitchell broke the news by announcing it through his personal Twitter account, which is protected. Regardless, word spread quickly, as Justin Byerly of, along with others confirmed it.

The 6-foot-3 Mitchell, is considered a four-star point guard, according to He picked the Demon Deacons over Arizona, Connecticut, Missouri, Illinois, Clemson, and several more schools.

Mitchell ran with the Chris Paul All-Stars on the AAU circuit, as the current Los Angeles Clippers point guard starred at Wake Forest for to seasons. Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik is getting a floor general in every sense of the world. Mitchell has great size and length for his position. He has strong handles and looks to find open teammate and create easy shots for them. On Friday, he told his goal is to get double-digit assists every game.

“Shelton is the hardest working kid I’ve ever coached,” Mitchell’s high school coach Mike Helms told Jacey Zembal. “The kid is back in the gym. He’s texting me, ‘How can I get back in the gym the next day?’ He wants to get in there and get better in all facets of his game, and he has. He has continued to improve and knows there are areas he still needs to improve.”

Mitchell is the first commitment for the Demon Deacons for the 2014 class.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne 

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?