California v UNLV

UNLV freshman guard Katin Reinhardt elects to transfer

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6-5 freshman guard Katin Reinhardt arrived at UNLV last summer with an ample amount of fanfare and rightfully so, as the Mater Dei HS product established himself as one of the best scorers on the west coast at the high school level.

In 35 games this past season Reinhardt averaged 10.1 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game, but his percentages from both the field (35.8%) and from three-point range (35.1%) left something to be desired on a team that lost to California in its NCAA tournament opener.

In theory the offseason leading up to the 2013-14 season would give Reinhardt the opportunity to further hone his skills and ultimately become a more efficient player for head coach Dave Rice.

Those improvements can still be made, but according to the West Coast Hoops Report that will happen at another school. Reinhardt has decided to transfer, with Coach Rice confirming the news late Sunday evening.

According to a source, the opportunity (or lack thereof) to be the primary ball-handler played a role in Reinhardt’s decision. But even with this news and the graduation of Anthony Marshall, UNLV won’t lack for options on the perimeter.

At the point Coach Rice brings in two recruits (junior college transfer Deville Smith and freshman Kendall Smith; no relation) to go along with rising sophomore Daquan Cook and freshman Dantley Walker, who returns from his LDS mission.

And at shooting guard UNLV returns Bryce Dejean-Jones (10.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and adds the talented Jelan Kendrick. Kendrick’s had issues throughout his collegiate career, but there’s no denying the fact that he’s incredibly talented.

Where would Reinhardt fit into that equation were he to remain in Las Vegas? He’d definitely be in the rotation, but the expectation of playing the point may not be met given the number of options at Rice’s disposal.

UNLV will have some adjustments to make leading into next season but they’ll be OK, and Reinhardt will become the latest Mater Dei product to play for multiple colleges.

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?