Kansas State v Kansas

Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden spur No. 18 Kansas to win over No. 25 Kansas State

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If you want to get an idea of just how badly No. 18 Kansas beat down in-state rival No. 25 Kansas State, think about it like this: there wasn’t another matchup between two ranked teams anywhere in the country today, this game was on ESPN and it finished before the NFL Playoff games began, yet how much did you actually hear about this game?

How many of you watched any of the second half?

How many of you actually knew that the Jayhawks won 86-60?

This was a statement win for Kansas, one that looks all the more impressive given some of the other results in Big 12 play this season. Kansas State had already beaten Oklahoma State and Oklahoma — coming off of a home loss to Kansas — beat an Iowa State team that was coming off of a 20 point win over Baylor.

Put it all together, and Kansas is the only undefeated team left in the conference. No matter how you slice it, the Jayhawks are still the favorite to win their 10th straight league title.

Three stat-lines to make note of for the Jayhawks: Wayne Selden followed up hit 24 points at Oklahoma with 2o against Kansas State. Andrew Wiggins finished with 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Selden and Wiggins combined to shoot 8-for-11 from three. Perhaps most importantly, Naadir Tharpe finished with nine assists and no turnovers.

As far as Kansas State is concerned, I wouldn’t be too worried. This was a wake-up call for the Wildcats. They ran into a Jayhawk buzzsaw on a night that they didn’t play very well, which tends to happen when a team with three freshmen in key roles makes their first visit to Phog Allen Fieldhouse. When that happens, you lose by 26.

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?