Rice Marshall Basketball

Change of plans for former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane?

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On May 8 it was reported by Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com that Marshall’s leading scorer, guard DeAndre Kane, would transfer to Pittsburgh for his senior season after graduating from Marshall.

With an average of just over 15 points and seven assists per game last season, Kane would give the Panthers a needed perimeter scorer for their debut season in the ACC.

Well there’s a chance that plans may have changed for the Pittsburgh native, who stated at the time of his commitment that Pitt represented “a perfect situation” for him.

If this were to happen it would be big news on two fronts. From a Pittsburgh point of view the “who will be called upon to score” question becomes an even tougher one to answer.

Lamar Patterson (10.0 ppg) and Talib Zanna (9.6 ppg) are the leading returnees, with rising sophomore guards Durand Johnson and James Robinson also factoring into the equation, but who is that “marquee” option?

Kane would fit into that role well for the Panthers, who have to replace leading scorer and assist man Tray Woodall (11.5 ppg, 5.1 apg) and wing J.J. Moore (8.0 ppg).

As for Memphis, the Tigers get even deeper if they can add Kane to the equation. With returnees such as Joe Jackson (13.6 ppg, 4.8 apg), Geron Johnson (10.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.5 apg) and Shaq Goodwin (7.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg) being joined by one of the country’s best recruiting classes, head coach Josh Pastner won’t lack for options.

The key in regards to Kane: an understanding of the minutes “situation.” In the three seasons that Kane played at Marshall (redshirting in 2009-10) he averaged 34.1 minutes per game, with the lowest average of the three seasons being 31.6 minutes per contest as a redshirt freshman.

To say the least, the chances of Kane receiving similar minutes at Memphis are slim given how much talent is on the roster.

So what will ultimately happen? Two fan bases anxiously await the answer.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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?