Frank Martin

South Carolina adds seventh member to 2013 recruiting class

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South Carolina and men’s basketball coach Frank Martin announced the seventh member of its 2013 recruiting class on Friday as in-state guard Jaylen Shaw officially signed with the Gamecocks.

The 6-1 Shaw will have four years of eligibility and helped lead Hartsville High School to back-to-back high school state championships in South Carolina, including the 2013 state championship game which saw Shaw go for 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

“We’re excited about Jaylen Shaw. The young man is an ultimate competitor. He’s proven that he’s a winner by getting back-to-back state championships. We are excited about the athleticism and skill that he brings to our team,” Martin said.

Shaw is considered a three-star recruit according to Rivals and is South Carolina’s seventh recruit overall for the 2013 class. Shaw joins 6-9 forward Demetrius Henry, 6-2 guard Duane Notice and 6-6 forward Reggie Theus Jr. as the fourth member to sign this spring. Two fellow South Carolina natives — 6-4 Justin McKie and 6-5 Sindarius Thornwell — signed with the Gamecocks earlier in the fall and join 6-9 center Desmond Ringer and Villanova transfer Tyrone Johnson to round out the seven-man class.

With the addition of this seven-man class, Martin — in a little over one year at the helm in South Carolina — has quickly turned over much of the roster with players he’s recruited. The former Kansas State coach also added four spring signees last year after accepting the South Carolina job in late March — although only 6-11 center Laimonas Chatkevicius and 6-7 forward Mindaugas Kacinas played for the Gamecocks last season among the four spring signees.

Scott also writes for NY2LA Sports and can be followed on Twitter @sphillipshoops

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?