Jordan Morgan, Patric Young

Florida’s Patric Young undergoes right ankle surgery

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After a report surfaced that Will Yeguete may need knee surgery this offseason, now another frontcourt stalwart, a more important one, recently underwent a surgery of his own.

Florida’s Patric Young, who earlier this month announced he was returning to the program from his senior season, had a procedure on his right ankle recently, reportedly to remove a bone spur. 

His recovery will take six weeks.

The 6-9, 249-pound Young had an up-and-down junior season, finishing with averages of 10.1 points 6.3 rebounds, shot 58.6-percent from the field and an awful 48.9-percent from the free throw line in 26.5 minutes per game.  While he was a consistent force in the post, Young averaged 8.2 points and seven rebounds in the Gators’ four NCAA Tournament games. He also made only six shots in Florida’s final three tournament games after going 6-for-10 in their first round win over Northwestern State.

A lot of circles believed coming back from a good choice for both himself and Florida. He’s got a year to develop offensively, which seems to be his only area where he’s not NBA-ready.

With Erik Murphy exhausting his eligibility, Young will be the leader down low, along with Yeguete and a recruiting class for coach Billy Donovan that includes 6-10 Chris Walker.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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?