Scott Phillips/NBC Sports

2014 small forward Jordan Barnett generating buzz in the EYBL

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FRISCO, Tx. — After the St. Louis Eagles lost on Friday night to the Jackson Tigers in the opening night of the EYBL Dallas Session they didn’t slump off the court and hang their heads. Well, they did, but they didn’t have much time to stand and sulk as they were quickly summoned to the baseline to run a few sprints for their lackluster effort.

Then former Eagles’ alum and NBA veteran Larry Hughes spoke to the group after the loss.

“I’m here if you have questions; use me as a resource,” a prideful Hughes said to the Eagles as they begin to pick their heads up again.

Jordan Barnett, one of the Eagles’ highest-regard prospects, is having a solid spring on the wing and the 6-7 small forward is generating a lot of recruiting buzz, so having an NBA veteran like Hughes speak to the Eagles was important to him.

“It’s a huge deal, he’s one of the alumni from the Eagles and he made it to The League so that’s where we want to be,” Barnett said. “He had some really important and good stuff to say to us and we have to follow his advice. It’s a privilege to have someone of that caliber talking to us.”

While it’s nice to have NBA vets like Hughes drop by to show support, Barnett has been showing signs of being the next high-profile wing from St. Louis as he’s been putting up solid numbers in the EYBL. Barnett is currently rated as the 83rd best prospect in the 2014 class by Rivals and was averaging 12.8 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 39% from the three-point line through the first two sessions.

“It’s honestly been a privilege playing this competition. You can only get better and learn from playing in this environment,” Barnett said of the EYBL. “It somewhat humbles you as a player because you’re going to some good games and have some great games and have some bad games and have some terrible games; it’s just apart of the learning process and so it’s a privilege to come out here and play.”

Barnett claimed scholarship offers from Missouri, Harvard, Stanford Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Saint Louis, Michigan State, Texas, Michigan, Iowa and Florida. He also has been hearing from one school that has yet to offer but showed some interest in North Carolina.

“North Carolina is pretty much the only one (with interest and no offer,” Barnett said. “They call every once and awhile and they send a text and tell me they’re going to come out and watch me. It’s not really that big at the moment but they tell me they’re interested so we’ll see what happens with that.”

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?