Archie Goodwin dunk

Archie Goodwin to the NBA, Willie Cauley-Stein to return, no word on Alex Poythress


Kentucky put out a release on Monday morning announcing the future of two of this year’s crop of freshmen stars.

Archie Goodwin is off to the NBA while Willie Cauley-Stein, and Kyle Wiltjer, will be returning to Kentucky for another season. There is no word yet on Alex Poythress.

“I’m excited that Willie and Kyle have decided to return for next season,” Calipari said. “When we talk about a players-first program, our goal is for each player to reach his dreams. Willie and Kyle believe it is in their best interest to return to Kentucky next season to achieve those dreams, and I fully support their decisions.

“Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams. He has the drive and desire to be great and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds in life both on and off the court. I believe, with another year of hard work and competition, they all can take their games to the next level. I look forward to seeing them all grow into young men.”

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

Wiltjer returning to school isn’t a surprise, although there had been rumors scurrying about the interwebs that he may end up transferring out of Kentucky. That’s not the case.

Goodwin probably made the correct decision to leave for the NBA. If he returned to school, it would likely have been a two-year decision. With the Harrison twins and James Young joining the program next year, and with the possibility that Andrew Wiggins might join that group, there simply weren’t going to be many minutes available for him. He’s got the athleticism and the potential to be a first round pick this year, and if he continues to develop, he could end up being a solid NBA player.

Cauley-Stein was a more interesting case. He’s incredibly raw, but he’s also a seven-footer that was athletic enough to play wide receiver as a high school football player. He played well enough that he might have snuck into the back end of the lottery had he left for the NBA this year, but with an offseason’s worth of development and a full year as Kentucky’s starting center, his draft stock could grow.

Now all eyes turn to Poythress and Wiggins as we attempt to figure out just what Kentucky’s roster is going to look like next season.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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?