Younstown St Georgia basketball

Youngstown State silences Georgia on the road

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In the early going of a long night of college basketball, Youngstown State delivers the first surprise of the night.

The Penguins (I still love the mascot) beat Georgia in Athens in the Progressive Legends Classic, 68-56. The loss is the first for the Bulldogs this season.

While Youngstown State was billed as a much-improved team in the Horizon League, I don’t think anyone thought this would be the case. Georgia never led and only scored 14 points in the first half (YSU led 25-14 at halftime).

While every team has their struggles in the early season, the biggest problem was probably that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the lone Bulldog in double-figures in points — and it wasn’t even close — with 27, making 10 of the team’s 17 field goals, including five of their six threes. Tim Dixon and Marcus Thornton had eight each for Georgia.

Kendrick Perry, a front-runner for Horizon League Player of the Year, led the Penguins (seriously though, isn’t that animal just awesome for a mascot?) with 23 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. He was also 10-for-11 from the free throw line as well.

In yet another stupid rule that needs to be changed, however, Youngstown State won’t get a berth in the tournament semifinals in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, because the last four teams that make it are predetermined. What a waste, because I think Perry could hang with the big boys.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

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.