Tyler Cavanaugh, Kyle Cain

Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh visited Dayton and George Washington; Butler in the mix

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Former Wake Forest forward Tyler Cavanaugh was a late addition to the growing list of college basketball transfer list this offseason, but one that has drawn considerable interest.

The 6-foot-9 Cavanaugh visited both Dayton and George Washington earlier this week and will cap the weekend with a trip to Butler, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Colorado, Davidson, Providence and Oregon were among the other teams to contact him since making the announcement. Cavanaugh previously said he wanted to narrow down his list of options to three or four schools.

Cavanaugh decided to transfer on June 14, but waited a week to explain why he left the Wake Forest program.

“I wrote down my goals — I want to make the NCAA Tournament, I want to compete for a conference championship,” Cavanaugh told the Post-Standard on June 21. “I mean, I loved my time at Wake. My two years were great; up and down and I learned a lot about myself as a player. But I felt like it was time for me to move on to something else.”

The Colonials are coming off their first NCAA tournament appearance in seven seasons with the pieces to make return trip in 2015. Butler’s offseason has been headlined by transfer news this spring with Elijah Brown, Nolan Berry and Rene Castro out and Tyler Lewis (N.C. State) and Austin Etherington (Indiana) in. Dayton has been a possible destination for several transfers, as the Flyers landed James Madison wing Charles Cooke earlier this month.

Cavanaugh, the stretch four, averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Wake Forest. He will have to sit out the 2014-2015 season, per NCAA transfer rules and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

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?