Rutgers University Introduces Eddie Jordan

Eddie Jordan introduced as head coach at Rutgers

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Rutgers introduced Eddie Jordan as their next men’s basketball coach on Tuesday afternoon, ending a search to replace Mike Rice after he was fired amid scandal.

Jordan takes control of the Scarlet Knights, his first college head coaching job, after spending the past season under Mike D’Antoni with the Los Angeles Lakers. He previously held head coaching gigs in the NBA with Sacramento, Washington and Philadelphia.

“This is going to be a challenge, but a wonderful challenge,” Jordan said in a statement. “There is a lot of work to be done. I would like to thank the Rutgers University Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, President Robert Barchi and Interim Director of Athletics Carl Kirschner for their confidence. The support in and around the Rutgers community has been tremendous. It will definitely help to form the foundation of our program moving forward.”

Jordan’s contract is for five years and $6.25 million. The money is guaranteed. He’ll be charged with helping the recovery process left from the scandal left by Rice and former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, who were both fired after video surfaced of Rice exhibiting physical and verbal abusive behavior towards his players in practice.

A Rutgers guard from 1973-77, he helped the program to its only Final Four in 1976. He still holds program records for assists and steals. Jordan’s son, Eddie II, was a three-year letterman for the Scarlet Knights football team (2000-01, 2003). The elder Jordan served an assistant in two different stints with the Scarlet Knights from 1984-85 and 1988-1992.

This is a great hire for Rutgers. Jordan is a recognizable figure within a program that doesn’t have much recent success. He also has considerable ties to the NBA, which can help attract some top talent, which should be helped with the school being right next to New York City. As Washington D.C. native, he’ll definitely want to tap those connections for recruiting that area.

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?