Villanova v Syracuse

Dajuan Coleman working on conditioning in order to regain starting role for Syracuse (VIDEO)

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Dajuan Coleman had his freshman season cut short due to the surgery he had in late January on his left knee. Entering his sophomore campaign, the 6-foot-9, 288-pound forward is looking to work on his conditioning to crack the Syracuse starting lineup next season.

As Donna Ditota of reports, in order to regain his starting role Coleman is devoting his summer to basketball, sometimes taking up to half his day. He works out at the Melo Center in Syracuse at 8 a.m. and is combining that with weight lifting sessions. On top of the workouts he is playing in a summer league, and there the improvement is noticeable.

“He’s getting the finesse part of his game going. That’s a lot of what he’s been working on,” Coleman’s brother Dashawn told “And defensively, too. His timing. Being in the right spots.

“He’s getting up and down the floor better so he can play more minutes. Basically, that’s it: Better conditioning.”

C.J. Fair led Cuse with 7.0 boards per game. But Brandon Triche, James Southerland and Michael Carter-Williams — the three other top rebounders — are gone. Coleman adds help on the glass and depth on the frontcourt. In only 20 games, Coleman averaged 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounders per game. Jim Boeheim has had a history of big men developing during their careers — Arinze Onuaku, Rick Jackson, Fab Melo — and Coleman’s commitment to the gym looks to put him next in line.

“If you have a good work ethic and you want to get better,” Coleman said. “It’s not that hard.”

[Video courtesy of]

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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?