La Salle lands a point guard in Philadelphia product Amar Stukes

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For the first time in 27 years, La Salle has landed a basketball product from La Salle High School as point guard Amar Stukes committed to the program earlier this week.

A 6-1, 165-pound guard, Stukes was also considering Drexel, Fairfield and Binghamton, and his commitment makes it three Division I products in the last three years for La Salle High School.

Stukes’ classmate Steve Smith is headed to Fairfield, and 2011 guard Eddie Mitchell is entering his sophomore season at Rider.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer it was a close call for Stukes between the Explorers and fellow Philadelphia school Drexel, with the Dragons’ recent success sticking out in his mind.

But the allure of the Big 5, a storied city rivalry that La Salle is a part of (Penn, Temple, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova being the others), ultimately won over the La Salle High product.

For Stukes, the chance to play at home in front of family and friends was simply the icing on the cake. Taking part in a tradition as rich as the Big 5 was the only selling point Stukes needed.

“I’m glad that I will be getting a chance to play so close to home in front of my family, but really, I am really excited to play for Coach G [La Salle head coach John Giannini] in the Big 5,” Stukes said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “Some of the best basketball players, not just to come out of this city but to play in the NBA, played for a Big 5 school. To me, that was really what got me.”

Ramon Galloway is a senior this season but point guard Tyreek Duren will be a senior when Stukes is a freshman, meaning that he’ll be able to spend that year learning from one of the best point guards in the Atlantic 10.

Stukes also noted the need for him to add some muscle to his slender build this season to better prepare himself for college basketball.

Photo credit: Yong Kim/Philadelphia Inquirer

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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.