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Report: Duke’s Jabari Parker will make 2014 NBA Draft decision on Wednesday

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Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker was honored with the Wayman Tisdale Award as college basketball’s top freshman on Monday, but the 6-foot-8 forward will also decide on his future this week, according to a report from the AP.

Parker — in Oklahoma City to accept the Tisdale Award — told the AP on Monday that he’ll meet with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on Tuesday when he returns to Durham and the two will discuss the All-American’s future.

After the discussion, Parker will make a decision on Wednesday whether to enter the 2014 NBA Draft or return for his sophomore season at Duke. Parker will look for the place “where he can grow the most,” according to the AP story.

“I don’t know where that is right now,” Parker said on Monday. “I’ll talk to coach about it and lay out my options, but I’m just really glad I get the best of both worlds.”

The forward led Duke in scoring and rebounding during the 2013-14 season as Parker averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three-point line.

Although Parker is considered a likely top-three pick by many NBA Draft experts, the freshman has an interesting decision for next season with Duke bringing in four more McDonald’s All-Americans for the 2014-15 season, including one of the nation’s top point guards in Tyus Jones and Rivals.com’s No. 1 player overall in center and fellow Chicago native Jahlil Okafor.

While Parker will make his NBA Draft decision on Wednesday, there is no scheduled announcement to make that knowledge public at this time.

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
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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?