We've got a couple of bits of news that broke late Friday, heading into the weekend.
One's good, one's bad. The bad affects a possible NCAA tournament team, and the good could alter the makeup of the conference race in the MAAC.
First, the negative. VCU took a hit after the NCAA ruled two of its freshmen -- Jordan Burgess and Mo Alie-Cox -- would not be able to play the upcoming season. They have been ruled partial qualifiers (the same verdict handed down exactly a month ago on Providence stud recruit Ricky Ledo) and as such will be able to practice but not play. Well, Burgess at least. Alie-Cox is unable to either, unfortunately for him.
The mentality behind the decision relates to Burgess and Alie-Cox's credentials from their high school days. Both kids took five years to finish school. The NCAA's ruling indicates a dissatisfaction with meeting proper criteria to be eligible.
VCU can't be happy with it, primarily because Burgess is a top-100 level 2012 recruit. He's the younger brother of outgoing VCU star Brad Burgess. The Rams will still be good, but without Burgess there will be a sense of "if only" with the team going forward.
"Both Jordan and Mo have begun their academic careers at VCU in an exemplary way," Shaka Smart said in a statement. "Each student-athlete's long-term development, on and off the court, remains our primary focus."
VCU's season starts Friday, Nov. 9, at home against Florida Gulf Coast.
Now, the good. Rider just got a big break. Nurideen Lindsey broke the news of his eligibility on Twitter Friday night.
Just got great news back from the NCAA. Got cleared to play right away!! Smh, been praying on this everynight. God is great. Turn up time!!— Nurideen Lindsey (@NurideenLindsey) October 6, 2012
Lindsey, a point guard from Philly, played nine games with St. John's last year before transferring out. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.9 assists during his time with the Red Storm. Lindsey brings a boost to the Broncs, who were considered a sleeper in the MAAC prior to this turn of events.
Now that team could be in the thick of the race with Manhattan and Iona.