Kahlil Dukes

Connecticut native Kahlil Dukes is headed to the West Coast, commits to USC

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Kahlil Dukes, a 5-11 guard from Hartford, Conn., has committed to USC, multiple outlets are now reporting.

Dukes reportedly impressed scouts at the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas this week, scoring 48 points in one game and 42 more in another. Playing for the Connecticut Basketball Club, Dukes was paired in the backcourt with Jared Wilson-Frame, another solid guard prospect.

Though smaller in stature, Dukes is quick and aggressive at getting to the basket and can distribute to his open teammates off of the drive.

He had interest from a number of mostly mid-major schools, including Drexel, FIU, Loyola-Marymount, Ohio, and UTEP.

For USC coach Kevin O’Neill, Dukes is the first to commit to the Trojans from the Class of 2013. This comes after USC brought in three players from the Class of 2012, led by forward Strahinja Gavrilovic.

USC struggled last season, going 6-26, including 1-17 in the Pac-12. They finished 338th in the nation in assists last season with 9.5 per game, something that Dukes could help to improve on when he steps on campus in 2013.

For the 2012-13 season, the Trojans welcome back guard Maurice Jones, who led the team in scoring and assists last season.

Photo Credit: Hartford Courant

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, 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.