Kansas v Texas Tech

Naadir Tharpe is transferring from Kansas

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Naadir Tharpe will transfer out of Kansas, the school announced on Thursday afternoon.

Tharpe was the biggest question mark on the Kansas roster this past season, and his role as the starting point guard heading into next year was the biggest reason that Texas has been mentioned as a possible favorite in the Big 12 in 2014-2015. Tharpe is talented, and he put together a handful of really impressive performances a season ago. But he’s not a leader, he never was able to take control of the team this past season and he battled severe bouts of inconsistency throughout his career.

When you’re the primary ball-handler for a top five team, you can’t make the kind of unforced mistakes that Tharpe made throughout his career in Lawrence.

There was also the issue of an inappropriate picture that included Tharpe that made the rounds on social media last month. Tharpe, however, said in a statement released by the school that his decision to transfer centers around his daughter, who is sick.

“Due to extenuating circumstances within my personal life, I will no longer be attending the University of Kansas,” Tharpe said. “My daughter has current medical issues that require weekly visits to her physician, as well as with a specialist. At this juncture, I feel it is best to be closer to home where I can assist and support in any way necessary.”

“Naadir and I have talked numerous times since he’s been here about his role and about his situation back home with his daughter,” head coach Bill Self said. “He’s told me many times how much he misses his little girl and she’s had some health issues that has certainly made it difficult for him to be away from her for this extended period of time. She’s doing very well now, but Naadir approached me after the season was over about him wanting to be closer to her. This is his decision to try and accomplish that.”

If Tharpe does transfer closer to him Massachusetts home, expect him to apply for a waiver that will allow him to be eligible immediately wherever he ends up.

Tharpe averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 assists with the Jayhawks as a junior.

As it stands, Self has two adequate point guards on his roster in rising sophomores Frank Mason and Connor Frankamp, but the team is one of the two finalists for Devonte Graham, a top 50 recruit that spent this past season at Brewster Academy, a prep school in New England.

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?