DeAndre Kane

DeAndre Kane writes letter thanking Marshall, Huntington community

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After being dismissed from the program in late-April, former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane became one of the most sought-after players on the transfer “market.”

Having averaged 15.1 points and seven assists per game as a redshirt junior, the Pittsburgh native would be able to help his next school of choice immediately as a graduate student.

Ultimately Kane decided to transfer to Iowa State for his final season of eligibility, but the move to Ames didn’t result in the guard forgetting about the people of Huntington, W.Va.

On Saturday night the Huntington Herald-Dispatch published a letter from Kane to the Marshall and Huntington communities, thanking them for their support during his four years as a member of the Marshall program.

Included in the letter is an apology for not leading the Thundering Herd to the NCAA tournament:

I know that things didn’t end here the way I wanted them too and I apologize for not leading the team to the NCAA Tournament because this city deserves it. What I do promise though is to bring something back to this community better than a basketball championship — hope and fun for the kids. Whether I play pro basketball or just become a business man, I’ll continue to contribute to the youth in this area once I get my career.

Thanks to Marshall University and the Athletic Department for giving me my first college opportunity. Thanks to the coaching staff that helped me through the years develop as a player and thank you to all of my teammates. I wish my brothers good luck next season and hope they can bring the C-USA title home.

This is the second time in less than a month that a player has expressed his thanks to the Huntington community, with Kansas signee Andrew Wiggins doing so in late-May.

Certainly a classy gesture on Kane’s part, as he certainly had an impact on both the Marshall program and the Huntington community during his time at the school. And, the letter also reveals how much of an impact that Huntington had on him.

h/t Ames Tribune

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?