Vanderbilt Tennessee Basketball

Tennessee forward Yemi Makanjuola to transfer

Leave a comment

More room was just made for Jarnell Stokes in the post, as Yemi Makanjuola has been released from his scholarship and will transfer from the program.

In his two seasons with the Volunteers, Makanjuola was limited  in his usage and production. He averaged 1.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game this season for the a 20-13 Tennessee team that lost 75-67 at home to Mercer in the first round of the NIT.

His scoring and minutes are a bit down from his freshman year, when the 6-9, 250-pound native of Lagos, Nigeria averaged 2.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game. He didn’t play in Tennessee’s final four games of the  regular season and SEC Tournament, finishing his time with the program with two blocks, a rebound and a foul in three minutes in the loss to Mercer.

The news was first reported by GoVols247’s Wes Rucker.

Vols sophomore center Yemi Makanjuola has been granted a release to transfer. Not a shocking development. More in a bit.

— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) April 20, 2013

However, Makanjuola did have his best game of the season in one of the Volunteers’ tougher games, with nine points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes in a 67-60 victory over then-no. 23 Wichita State at home. He would have just one game of more than three points the rest of the game with a seven-point, seven-rebound effort in a 92-74 home loss to Ole Miss.

Makanjuola was also down in his field goal percentage this season (16-of-42, 38.1 percent) despite taking just two less shots (26-of-44, 59.1 percent).

Tennessee won’t have much of a problem replacing Makanjuola, with 6-10 junior college transfer Rawane N’diaye recently signing with coach Cuonzo Martin’s program and Jeronne Maymon returning for a fifth year after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Stokes also has yet to make a decision on his future on whether to stay in college or enter the NBA Draft.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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?