Spartans guard Harris is guarded by Buckeyes guard Craft during the first half of their NCAA men's college basketball game at the 2013 Big 10 tournament in Chicago

Report: Michigan State sophomore Gary Harris to miss 4-to-8 weeks with ankle injury

Leave a comment
Michigan State suffered a blow to their early-season preparations as sophomore shooting guard and reigning Big Ten freshman of the year Gary Harris sustained an ankle injury during a pickup game with teammates and is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks according to a report from Diamond Leung of MLive. The 6’4″ Harris averaged 12.9 points per game last season for the Spartans.

While the injury to Harris hurts Michigan State’s preparation for a title run early in the school year, if the injury is only four weeks he could be back before the official start of practice on September 27th. If the injury stretches out to the full eight weeks, Harris could be back by early November and might not even miss any regular season games. Michigan State opens the exhibition season on October 29th.

The ankle injury is mostly a concern if it becomes any kind of recurring issue as many basketball players can relate to ankle injuries sometimes being difficult to fully recover from. But with the aid of Michigan State’s training staff and an ankle brace, Harris should ideally fully recover by the start of the regular season and the Spartans can continue their quest for a Big Ten title and possibly even bigger things.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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?