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Calvin Godfrey to transfer from Southern, eligible immediately

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There’s a new transfer on the market, as Southern’s Calvin Godfrey has left the program, sources confirmed to NBCSports. According to ESPN.com, Godfrey has received his release. He will be able to play immediately pending a graduate transfer waiver from the NCAA.

Godfrey is a talent, a 6-foot-8, 230 pound forward that averaged 13.1 points and 8.8 boards as a junior with the Jaguars, including an 18-point, 9-rebound performance at Florida last season. That came three years after his last season at the Division I level, when he averaged 5.7 points and 5.4 boards for Iowa State back in 2010-2011.

In between, Godfrey had a bit of a wild ride, one that highlights the red flags that come up bringing him into a program. He was suspended midseason for multiple violations of team rules at Iowa State before eventually being kicked out of the program after he was arrested for marijuana possession. He spent the 2011-2012 season at Howard College and had plans to enroll at LSU for the 2012-2013 season, but he was not accepted into the school due to an issue with his academics. He ended up signing with Southern that November and sitting out the 2012-2013 season, but he never fully bought into the program.

He has one year remaining and has to use it in 2014-2015 and will be looking to spend it playing at a higher level.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
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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?