The number of players who have decided to transfer from Illinois State since the end of the season has now reached four players, as it was reported by multiple outlets on Thursday that sophomore guard Johnny Hill’s request to be released from his scholarship has been granted.
Hill started 26 of the Redbirds’ 33 games, averaging 7.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. After sitting out the 2013-14 season Hill will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
With Hill’s decision to leave the program head coach Dan Muller will retain just one of his top six scorers from the 2012-13 season: rising senior guard Bryant Allen (8.6 ppg).
Leading scorers Tyler Brown (18.1 ppg) and Jackie Carmichael (17.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg) are both out of eligibility, as is forward John Wilkins (6.7 ppg).
Of the four players who have decided to transfer since the end of the season Hill and forward John Ekey (6.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg; transferring to Illinois) were the ones who saw the most playing time. Also transferring are center Jordan Threloff (Northern Illinois) and Zeke Upshaw.
With the many changes in regards to both players leaving and the five newcomers (three of whom are guards), Hill ultimately decided that he was better off finishing his career at another program.
“There have been a lot of changes going on and that has gotten me toward the decision I made,” Hill told Jim Benson of the Bloomington Pantagraph.
“I really did like ISU. There’s been a bunch of changes and some I wasn’t expecting. After talking with my family we thought this was the best decision.”
Illinois State finished the 2012-13 season with an 18-15 record, going 8-10 in Missouri Valley play and reaching the semifinals of the conference tournament. The Redbirds’ season ended with a 66-51 loss to Wichita State.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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?