This afternoon we preview the St. John’s freshman guards, and discuss the latest in NCAA violations.
Around St. John’s
- Head coach Chris Mullin will be honored at the 2016 Samaritan Daytop Foundation Gala on Oct. 26. This foundation has helped New Yorkers facing adversity for over 50 years.
“The battle with substance abuse and homelessness is daunting but the support of an organization like this one makes that battle just a little bit easier,” said Mullin. “New York City is my home and the work that Samaritan Daytop Village is doing to help the people of my city is an invaluable contribution that cannot be overstated.”
Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News, Eric Hadar from Allied Partners, and former NBA player Chris Herren will be honored along with Mullin.
- CBS Sports recently released their 1-351 college basketball rankings. St. John’s comes in at 122. Matt Norlander had this to say about the Johnnies.
“Shamorie Ponds, a four-star freshman right out of New York City, will fill it up for a Johnnies team that has plenty of room to grow from last season's poor start in Chris Mullin's first year. Expect another shot-block fest for St. John's, as Kassoum Yakwe and Yankuba Sima will be a joy to watch.”
- Sports Illustrated recently published their projections for the top 50 freshman scorers. Only two Big East players made the list, both from St. John’s. Marcus LoVett Jr. was listed 12th by Luke Winn. After sitting out last season, LoVett should assume a starting role for the Johnnies. Listed 50th was New York City prospect Shamorie Ponds. Fans in Queens are expecting to see flashes of potential from Ponds this year.
Around the Big East
- The NCAA recently vacated 101 wins from former Big East foe Syracuse. What will sting the most for fans in upstate New York is not the two winless seasons in 2005-06 and 2011-12, but rather the revoked 2006 Big East Tournament Championship.
Fans may recall Gerry McNamara’s heroics, drilling huge buzzer-beaters against both Cincinnati and UConn. Subsequently, with an appearance in the Big East Championship hanging in the balance, McNamara found an open Eric Devendorf who laid in the game winning shot against Georgetown. The next night Syracuse topped Pittsburgh to win the Big East and earn an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Had it not been for that improbable run, Syracuse likely wouldn’t qualified for the big dance.
“I got the trophy," McNamara said in regards to the vacated Big East title. "It's at the house. Don't care."
Around the nation
- As reported by the New York Times, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been charged for allegations regarding a sex scandal within his basketball program. Major rule violations have been related to ongoing misconduct in which a university employee provided prostitutes to players and recruits.
Included in the allegations were four Level 1 infractions, the most serious designation. Louisville avoided the “lack of institutional control” charge which would have resulted in much harsher punishment.
These allegations surfaced from a book - where former escort Katina Powell described how former director of basketball operations, Andre McGee, hired strippers for some recruits and their fathers. McGee, who did not cooperate with NCAA investigators, along with former assistant coach Brandon Williams, have been charged by the NCAA. However, the University of Louisville was not charged.
ESPN reports, Louisville’s self-imposed postseason ban, scholarship cuts, and reduced recruiting access was deemed by the NCAA, "imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties."