Michigan has nothing to worry about after losing to Indiana on Saturday.
There is no shame in losing at Assembly Hall to this Indiana team. None whatsoever, especially considering that Michigan was able to bounce back after the Hoosiers played the most impressive five minutes we’ve seen this season to open the game.
The Wolverines got hit squarely in the jaw, as the Hoosiers jumped out to leads of 18-7 and 26-11 before Michigan finally woke up.
And they still bounced back. They cut the lead to four at the half on a ridiculous, 25-foot stepback three from Trey Burke. They tied the game early in the second half. There’s something to be said about withstanding, and coming back from, a barrage like that in an environment like that against a team like that.
Trey Burke finished with 25 points and eights assists while Tim Hardaway Jr. added 18. Mitch McGary played as well as he has all season long, finishing with 10 points and seven boards in 28 very active minutes.
But Michigan got almost nothing out of Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III. Those two combined to go 4-16 from the floor and 1-5 from three, with the ‘one’ being a triple from Stauskas in the final minute when they game was already decided. As a result, as impressive as the numbers that Burke put up were, they were not quite indicative of how well he played; by the end of the game, he was forcing quite a bit as he was the only player on the Michigan team that was producing.
It’s stating the obvious here, but Michigan cannot win consistently against quality competition without getting anything from those two.
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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 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?