Duke v Louisville

Louisville’s Kevin Ware undergoes successful two-hour procedure on fractured leg

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According to a release from the school, Louisville sophomore guard Kevin Ware underwent a successful two-hour surgical procedure on his fractured right leg.

Ware suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly after challenging a Tyler Thornton jumper with 6:33 remaining in the first half of the Cardinals’ 85-63 win over Duke in the Midwest regional final.

Ware will remain at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis until at least Tuesday, and the school is hopeful that he can travel with the team to next weekend’s Final Four in Atlanta (Ware finished his high school career at Rockdale County HS in Conyers, Ga.).

Ware had the bone re-set, the wound from the injury closed and a rod inserted in his right tibia during approximately two hours of surgery.

Ware will remain in Indianapolis until at least Tuesday, when he is hopeful to return to Louisville and then join the Cardinals as they advance to the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta. A timetable has not been set for a return to basketball competition.

How long the recovery process will be for Ware is unknown at this stage.

But according to Dr. Frederick Azar, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and chief of staff at Cambell Clinic in Memphis, recovery can take anywhere from three to six months provided there are no complications.

[Louisville head coach Rick] Pitino told reporters that Ware would be out of  commission for a year, but Azar said that if surgery went well and there were no nerve complications or infections, the young, healthy player could be back on the court in time for next season, or within six months.

Head coach Rick Pitino and son Richard, who just completed his first season as head coach at FIU after being an assistant on his father’s staff, will visit with Ware tonight and early Monday morning according to multiple reports.

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?