The momentum from a two-game winning streak for Drake came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday as the school declared four players academically ineligible for the second semester. Though ineligible by N-C-A-A standards, starting guards Lamont Evans and Dontaie Smith along with reserve forwards Alberto Jempierre and Mike O’Neill all failed to meet the school’s standard of a two-point-oh grade point average for students in extracurricular activities. All four of the players are junior college transfers.Drake coach Kurt Kanaskie says his immediate reaction was to be careful about recruiting junior college transfers. But Kanaskie says that’s not fair. He says the end of the first semester at Drake is always a time for concern. He says players the pressure of games and recruiting pales in comparison with the pressure of maintaining the 2.0 grade point average.Drake athletic director Dave Blank says while the two-point rule has gone unnoticed until this year, it has had a dramatic effect on the program for some time. He says the rule has been their nemesis in recruiting.The Bulldogs will have seven players available for tonight’s Missouri Valley home game against Illinois State. Kanaskie says the team will rally and give the maximum effort. He says the team feels it can still win games.
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