California v Arizona

Pac-12 reprimands Cal coach Mike Montgomery for shoving Allen Crabbe

Leave a comment

If you missed, the biggest talking point on Sunday night and into Monday morning in college hoops was the shove heard ’round the world.

You can find the video here. In what appears to be an effort to snap Allen Crabbe out of a funk, Mike Montgomery gave him a two-handed push as he came to the bench during a timeout. Some are calling it unwarranted, some want Montgomery suspended, and others think the whole kerfluffle was much ado about nothing.

Monty was reprimanded by the Cal’s Athletic Director, Sandy Barbour, in a statement. He also apologized for the incident afterwards, while both he and Crabbe had moved past it by the time the Bears made it to the postgame press conference.

And on Monday afternoon, the Pac-12 handed down their ruling in the matter. Here’s the full press release:

The Pac-12 Conference has reprimanded California head men’s basketball coach Mike Montgomery for shoving a student-athlete during California’s game with USC on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Montgomery made aggressive, physical contact with one of his own players during a timeout in the second half of California’s game with USC.

“While emotions can run high in competitive environments, Pac-12 coaches are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will reflect credit on the institution and the Conference,” said Commissioner Larry Scott. “Each Pac-12 coach must be aware that they are an example to student-athletes and other students, and consistent with this influence and visibility, must meet a particularly high standard.”

I’m fine with how this was handled by all parties. I don’t think what Monty did was egregious, but I would certainly not recommend he try to get away with it again. I doubt he will, as this, by all accounts, was out of character for one of the more mild-mannered coaches you’ll come across.

Do you think the coach deserved to miss a game, or was this all blown out of proportion?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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?