Virginia Tech releases Montrezl Harrell from letter of intent


After one week of waiting for a decision, 6-8 North Carolina native Montrezl Harrell has been released from his letter of intent by Virginia Tech, Norm Wood of the Daily Press is reporting.

Harrell signed with the Hokies in November, set to play for then-head coach Seth Greenberg, but Greenberg was fired after the season and replaced by assistant James Johnson.

“We’d have loved to have kept him, but (Johnson’s) position is if the young man doesn’t want to be here with us on his own part, then we won’t keep him here,” associate athletic director for internal affairs Tom Gabbard told the Daily Press. “(Johnson) would like for him to be here, but you only get one chance in your life time to play college basketball.”

Though the news is coming to light Thursday, Gabbard says the school released him on Wednesday.

Harrell is a physically gifted and well-built forward who has garnered interest from schools that include Kentucky and Louisville. Prior to committing to Virginia Tech, he was considering schools that also included NC State and Cincinnati.

Gabbard told the Daily Press that Harrell will not be barred from signing with any other institution.

Now with Harrell moving on, the Hokies are left with eight scholarships for this upcoming season. They recently added UNC-Wilmington transfer Adam Smith, but he will need to sit out a season and will be eligible to play in 2013-14.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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.