Kareem Richardson

Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson named UMKC head coach

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Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson has been hired to become the next head basketball coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the school announced in a release Tuesday. Richardson has 16 years of coaching experience that includes the 2007-08 season, which he spent as an assistant at UMKC.

“I would like to welcome Kareem back to Kansas City,” UMKC athletic director Tim Hall said in a statement. “He has strong relationships with high school and AAU coaches here and throughout the Midwest. He brings a high basketball pedigree in the areas of recruiting, on-the-floor coaching, strategy and preparation, and service to young men. Kareem is an educator, and knows what it takes to be successful in the mid-major ranks.”

Louisville is currently in the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed in the Midwest regional and Richardson will remain with the team for the remainder of the season. He came to Louisville after stops as an assistant at Xavier and Drake, as well as spending time serving on the staff at Evansville, Indiana State, Wright State and Indianapolis.

“Being at the University of Louisville and working under future Hall of Famer Coach Pitino, it had to take a special situation for me to leave, but I know the vision that Leo Morton and Tim Hall have for the program makes UMKC a special situation,” Richardson said. “It is extremely exciting to have the opportunity to lead the UMKC men’s basketball program and to be back in the wonderful city of Kansas City.”

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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?