Hutchinson Athletics

Hutchinson CC guard Rozell Nunn headed to SIU-Edwardsville

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On Sunday the SIU-Edwardsville program added yet another upperclassman to its roster, as it was announced that Hutchinson (Kan.) CC guard Rozell Nunn has decided to spend his final two years of eligibility at the Ohio Valley Conference school.

Nunn, a 6-3 guard from Kansas City, started 33 of the 34 games in which he played and posted averages of 8.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Hutchinson. He and the rest of the Blue Dragons managed to lead Hutch to its first NJCAA Division I tournament appearance in 16 years.

Hutchinson finished the season with a 31-4 record and a Region VI title. Also on that team was guard D’Von Campbell, who has since signed on to play at Rutgers for first-year head coach Eddie Jordan.

SIU-Edwardsville head coach Lennox Forrester has added four newcomers this offseason, with three being junior college transfers. Nunn joins fellow JUCO transfers Cameron Craig (6-foot point guard) and Keaton Jackson (6-9 forward), and 6-6 freshman wing Deangelo Stewart.

SIU-E will also have the services of transfers Grant Fiorentinos and Donivine Stewart, who sat out after making moves from Tulane and Bradley respectively. Fiorentinos, a 6-10 forward/center from Cape Town, South Africa, gives the Cougars a much-needed body in the paint while Stewart will factor into the rotation at point guard.

SIU-E finished the 2012-13 season with a record of nine wins and 18 losses, going 5-11 in OVC play. The Cougars lost seven of their last eight games to end the season, just missing out on a spot in the OVC tournament.

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?