Syracuse’s wretched rebounding, contrasted with previous Final Four teams

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source: AP

Everything one needs to know about college basketball can be found at CBT. But sometimes, even we need a little help. Hey, there are only so many hours in the day that allow us to read, write and analyze. (Gotta find time to eat, too.)

That’s why we never miss the Power Rankings by Luke Winn over at SI.com. There are always at least three statistical nuggets worth chewing on in his rankings.

Take this breakdown of Syracuse’s defensive rebounding. We’ve covered this very topic before, but this stat is telling for just how badly the Orange are at keeping people off the glass:

These are the worst defensive-rebounding teams to reach the Final Four in each year of the efficiency era:

Year   Team              DOR%    Rank
2011   VCU               36.5    321
2010   Duke              32.1    149
2009   North Carolina    31.7    121
2008   Memphis           29.2    36
2007   Georgetown        33.9    191
2006   Florida           33.1    126
2005   North Carolina    31.5    64
2004   Duke              36.8    282
2003   Syracuse          36.6    274

(That 2008 Memphis team tried to defy a different statistical hurdle — by nearly becoming the worst free-throw shooting team to ever win a title. But you know what happened: Derrick Rose missed a free throw.) Only four teams have made the NCAA tournament with a worse DOR% than Syracuse’s current 38.3, and none has won a game:

Year   Team (Seed)       DOR%    Rank
2004   L-Lafayette (14)  39.2     316
2006   UAB (9)           40.7     331
2008   Coppin St. (16)   38.6     333
2010   Houston (13)      38.5     338

A savvy college hoops fan knows that Syracuse’s defense is still elite because it creates so many steals, blocks so many shots and is tough to score against. Also, ‘Cuse is rarely very good at defensive rebounding and that the 2003 team wasn’t much better than this year’s version. But that group had Carmelo Anthony when it won it all back in 2003 (not to mention Gerry McNamara hitting six 3s in the first half of the title game).

If the Orange don’t make the Final Four or win it all, defensive rebounding will almost surely be one of the reasons why. Giving a team second-chance points is never a good idea in the Big Dance.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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

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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
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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.