Jim Calhoun attends UConn practice, but may not coach Saturday

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UConn coach Jim Calhoun was back at practice Friday, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be coaching the Huskies when they play host to Pitt on Saturday.

In fact, Calhoun was mostly there to alleviate some restlessness, not because he feels better after having surgery to alleviate nerve pain in his back.

“I feel tired now,” he told the AP. “It’s the first time I’ve practiced in almost four weeks. So it’s kind of hard to anticipate where I will be. But hopefully I’ll wake up tomorrow and feel better. If I don’t, if I feel like I can’t give the kids my all for a couple of hours, then I won’t do it and I’ll try it on Sunday in practice again.”

“I have not made plans to do anything else except come back,” he said. “A few things along the way have gotten in my way.”

Calhoun, 69, has been on indefinite medical leave since Feb. 3, missing eight games in that span. UConn (17-12) has gone 3-5 without him and in is danger of not making the NCAA tournament and not defending as champions.

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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.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.