Preseason Wooden Award list always imperfect


Brian Snyder/Reuters

The preseason Top 50 for the Wooden Award will always be an imperfect list. Anything that precludes certain players – freshmen, transfers and medical redshirts aren’t eligible for the preseason 50, but can be added later – is destined to be mocked.

That automatically excluded two of last year’s five finalists – John Wall and Wesley Johnson – from consideration. This season, that means ignoring guys like Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger and Kyrie Irving, among others.

Then there’s the 50 on the list. Some, like Arizona State’s Ty Abbott, don’t belong. Not when omissions include these guys:

  • West Virginia’s Kevin Jones (after a breakout sophomore season, he’ll be the Mountaineers’ main man this year)
  • Xavier’s Tu Holloway (point guard won’t have impressive stats, but he’s the leader and defensive stalwart for a Top 25 team)
  • Georgetown’s Chris Wright (Austin Freeman gets most of the attention, but Wright’s the driving force for the Hoyas)
  • Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried (averaged 17 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals last season; ask NBA scouts if he belongs on the list)

Those four are the biggest snubs. At least two will be on the midseason update, not to mention at least five freshmen. Revamp the rules!

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Demetris Morant out 3-4 months

Leave a comment

Florida Gulf Coast redshirt junior forward Demetris Morant is expected to miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right shin, the school announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 4.5 points, 4.4 blocks and 1.3 blocks per game in 33 appearances (18 starts) for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season.

“This is obviously an unfortunate setback for Demetris, but it was a procedure that needed to be done,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dooley said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to have it completed now to hopefully get him back for A-Sun play. It’s an opportunity now for other guys to step up in his absence, and I have confidence they’ll get the job done.”

The Eagles have the top frontline in the Atlantic Sun, one that returns Marc-Eddy Norelia and Filip Cvjeticanin, a 3-point shooter who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery. VCU transfer Antravious Simmons becomes eligible in the second semester.

Florida Gulf Coast begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 14 against Ohio.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
Leave a comment

Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.