Kansas the coaches’ unanimous choice to win the Big 12

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Kansas has won eight straight Big 12 regular season titles, and even with the loss of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor Big 12 coaches expect the Jayhawks to extend the streak to nine.

The Big 12 released its preseason coaches’ poll on Thursday, and Kansas was the unanimous choice to win the conference.

Since coaches aren’t allowed to vote for their own teams the Jayhawks picked up nine first-place votes, with Bill Self’s vote going to the Baylor Bears.

Scott Drew’s club, coming off of it’s second Elite Eight appearance in three years, finished second in the voting with Oklahoma State being the choice to finish third.

1. Kansas – 81 points (nine first-place votes)
2. Baylor – 63 (one first-place vote)
3. Oklahoma State – 60
4. Texas – 58
5. Kansas State – 54
6. West Virginia – 45
7. Oklahoma – 34
8. Iowa State – 28
9. Texas Tech – 18
10. TCU – 9

Being picked by the coaches to win the Big 12 tends to work out for teams when looking at the history of the preseason coaches poll, as only four times in the history of the conference has the preseason pick failed to finish third or higher.

Oklahoma State finished 5th in 1998-99, with Kansas finishing in a tie for fifth the following season and Missouri doing so in 2003-04.

The worst performance by the Big 12 coaches’ choice? That would be last year’s Texas A&M squad, which was hit hard by the injury bug and finished ninth.

Given the close nature of this season’s poll after Kansas (2nd through 6th are separated by 18 points), it should be interesting to see how the race shakes out.

Obviously what happens with Texas point guard Myck Kabongo would have a major impact on that if he’s forced to miss games, and teams such as West Virginia (6th) and Oklahoma (7th) may prove to be underrated by the coaches.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net 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.