Missouri guard Jabari Brown to enter 2014 NBA Draft

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Days after it was reported that guard Jordan Clarkson would enter the 2014 NBA Draft, Missouri announced on Wednesday that junior guard Jabari Brown has decided to do the same.

A first-team All-SEC performer Brown averaged 19.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for the Tigers, leading the SEC in scoring while shooting 46.7% from the field and 41.0% from beyond the arc. Brown ranked seventh in the SEC in field goal percentage, with Alabama’s Trevor Releford (5th) and Ole Miss’ Jarvis Summers (6th) being the only guards ahead of him in that statistical category.

“This was a step I needed to take in order to make the most educated decision possible with regards to my NBA opportunities,” Brown said in a statement released by Missouri. “My time here at Mizzou has been incredible. This is a special place and a second home for me. However, I must approach this looking at the bigger picture. This is a decision that impacts my family as well and that is most important to me.”

Brown’s best individual performance this season came in an 84-79 loss to Kentucky on February 1, as he scored 33 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field. Brown reached double figures in every game with the exception of one, as he scored eight points in the Tigers’ SEC tournament loss to Tennessee.

In 25 games as a sophomore after transferring in from Oregon, Brown averaged 13.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game with 24 starts. He, Clarkson and Earnest Ross combined to score 51.4 points per game this season, with Missouri averaging 72.9 points per game as a team. rates Brown as the 11th best junior and lists him as a second round pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.

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?