Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon blames himself for recent transfers from program

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Maryland has been gutted by transfers this offseason as the Terrapins have lost four key players from last season as they make the transition from the ACC to the Big Ten next season.

With guard Seth Allen leaving the program late last week, Maryland has now lost Allen, guard Roddy Peters, wing Nick Faust and big man Shaquille Cleare this offseason and it leaves the Terrapins with a big lack of experienced players and depth for next season.

After the departure of Allen, Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun caught up with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon to get his thoughts on the departures.

Turgeon made some revealing remarks to Markus:

Turgeon said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that he has to “take total blame” for the departures.

“You don’t lose four guys and say, ‘Oh, it can’t be me,’ ” Turgeon said. “This is new territory for me. This has never happened” during his career as a head coach.

With rumors that forward Charles Mitchell could also be looking to leave the program, Maryland’s mass exodus this offseason is certainly concerning on a number of levels. Turgeon has gone 59-43 in his first three seasons at Maryland, but he was 23-29 in ACC play and only has one postseason trip to the NIT.

The Terrapins have a solid five-man recruiting class coming in next season, including McDonald’s All-American guard Melo Trimble, but for Turgeon to lose so many valuable pieces to a program he was trying to build is likely going to set him back again as he continues his attempt to reach a NCAA Tournament as Maryland’s head coach.

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?