Pe'Shon Howard, Justin Anderson

Maryland guard Pe’Shon Howard suspended for Saturday’s game against No. 2 Duke

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Given the lack of high-profile wins on their resume, Maryland’s home game against No. 2 Duke is a critical one for Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins.

And if they’re to beat Duke the Terrapins will have to do so without junior guard Pe’Shon Howard, who has been suspended for a violation of team rules. Howard has struggled this season at the point, and Turgeon noted in his meeting with the media on Friday that there’s no guarantee that the suspension will be for just one game.

Turgeon said Howard is “not making very smart decisions. We’ve got team rules you’ve got to follow. We’ll sit him out this game.”

The coach wouldn’t specify what rules may have been violated. He said Howard will be re-evaluated after this weekend, and that his suspension could last just one game, or perhaps several games.

Howard’s productivity has dropped significantly, as he’s playing ten fewer minutes per game (22.0) this season and averaging 3.3 points and 4.2 assists per contest. The assist number is higher than his average last season (3.7 apg) but he’s shooting 28.6% from the field and 26.3% from beyond the arc.

Turgeon has used three different players at the point this season: Howard, freshman Seth Allen and sophomore Nick Faust. With Howard suspended Allen will see more time at the point, with Faust likely getting the start after doing so in Maryland’s 80-69 loss to Virginia on Sunday.

Faust finished with eight points, three assists and two turnovers against Virginia, and Allen contributed 11 points, five assists, five steals and three turnovers off the bench. Howard finished Sunday’s game with five points and two assists in 17 minutes of action, and Turgeon stated on Friday that the junior has played better coming off the bench.

“He’s just got to make better decisions,” Turgeon said of Howard according to J.P. Finlay of CSNWashington. “He’ll miss one game, maybe two, maybe three. I want him to learn from his decisions.”

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?