John Cooper

Miami (OH) sophomore guard Willie Moore granted immediate eligibility

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The NCAA has granted Miami (OH) sophomore guard Willie Moore immediate eligibility this season after the Cincinnati-native transferred from Oregon, has learned.

Miami (OH) Associate Athletic Communications Director Angie Renninger confirmed with that the 6’3″ Moore was granted immediate eligibility this season.

RedHawks Head Coach John Cooper is excited about the addition of the local guard that should give Miami (OH) plenty of guard depth this season.

“We’re extremely excited for Willie and his family. In many ways it shows the process really does work,” Cooper said in a press release. “Without getting into particulars, it was a situation that we thought warranted him being able to get back home and also be eligible to play right away, and we are extremely thankful to the NCAA and happy with their findings. I think this is a big burden off of Willie’s shoulders now and will allow him to become more focused because he knows he will have the opportunity to play this year. He makes us a better team. There’s a long way to go before the season starts, but we’re thrilled with this news.”

As a freshman at Oregon, Moore averaged 2.1 points per game in only 7.2 minutes per game but should help a Miami team that finished last in the MAC East.

The RedHawks return three starting guards in senior Quinten Rollins, junior Will Sullivan and sophomore Reggie Johnson but Moore should see minutes right away. As a senior at Aiken High School, Moore was named a Division II-IV first team selection by the Cincinnati Enquirer and averaged 16.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

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?