Another year of Dougie McBuckets!
Creighton star Doug McDermott announced on Thursday that he would be returning to school for his senior season. Coming off of a first-team all-american season in 2012-2013, McDermott will immediately vault to the top of the National Player of the Year contender list and makes the Bluejays a threat to contend in the new Big East.
McDermott had been back and forth on the decision over the last few weeks, but he decided, in the end, that returning to school would be the best decision.
“If I’m going to play in the NBA, I’m going to play this year or next year,” McDermott told CBSSports.com. “I’m not buying into the fact that I had to go this year because the draft was considered weaker. [Kyle Korver] told me that I’m going to have to beat out guys whether I’m a first-rounder or I wind up going in the second round.”
(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)
Creighton will lose both Gregory Echenique and Grant Gibbs, two indispensable players that were on the roster last season. Both will be big blows, as Echenique was the kind of big-bodied center that allowed the Bluejays to match up with some of the power conference teams, while Gibbs was a playmaker on the wing that created open looks from three for his teammates.
But McDermott is good enough that he will make Creighton a contender in whatever league that they play in.
Don’t be surprised if the Bluejays make quite a bit of noise in the new Big East next season.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
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 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?