It went from bad to worse on Tuesday night for Syracuse as the No. 7 Orange fell at the Carrier Dome on Senior Night 67-62 to Georgia Tech in an ACC contest.
The Yellow Jackets (14-16, 5-12) led the final 31:40 of the game as Syracuse struggled to find consistent offense outside of C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis while its 2-3 zone had breakdowns on the interior.
Georgia Tech’s balanced offense did a nice job of pounding the ball inside and working the ball around patiently against the Orange zone. Trae Golden led the Yellow Jackets with 16 points while Daniel Miller had 15 points and six blocks and Robert Carter Jr. added 12 points.
Playing without sophomore Jerami Grant, who sat out with a back injury, Syracuse (26-4, 13-4) struggled on both ends of the floor as they only played seven players on the night. Fair (28 points) and Ennis (18 points) were the only consistent offensive threats for Syracuse on the night as the Orange struggled to 39 percent shooting from the field, 29 percent from three-point range and 43 percent from the free-throw line.
Trevor Cooney struggled to seven points on 3-for-12 shooting and no other Syracuse player tallied more than three points.
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 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?