Tim Hardaway Jr. makes a statement as Michigan takes NIT Season Tip-Off

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With 11:35 remaining in the game, Tim Hardaway Jr. took a seat on the bench, next to Mitch McGary, exhausted and out of breath as he wiped the sweat of his face.

He put in an all-around effort, a game-high 23 points, while adding seven rebounds, to lead Michigan over Kansas State 71-57 to capture the NIT Season Tipoff at Madison Square Garden.

Hardaway shot 10-of-15 from the field, scoring from in different ways. Early on, Hardaway was able to put the ball on the deck and get to the rim. The junior guard was great from the mid-range, especially the crossover, pull up jumper he had on Will Spralding.

What made it more impressive is that Hardaway kept the team with the lead, scoring 12 points in the first half with limited contributions from Glenn Robinson III, who had only four points or Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan, who combined for no points and three rebounds at intermission.

At the start of half, the entire team started to click. Michigan was holding a 29-24 lead and less than two minutes into the half made it an 11-point game, keeping a double-digit for the rest of the game.

Michigan got whatever they wanted offensive in the second half, connecting on 18-of-33 shots in the half. The Wolverines consistently got into the lane and were unselfish, making extra passes for better shots.

But the story in this one was Hardaway. He stepped up on a big stage, showing all out effort on both ends of the floor. He was active on the glass with a block to go along with seven boards. Hardaway, the tournament’s most outstanding player, left the game late with a reported head injury (passed concussion tests), but was able to return to the bench for the final minute.

Hardaway posted 16 points in a win over Pittsburgh Thursday night, before Friday night’s offensive explosion. Michigan faces its first real test of the season Tuesday against No. 16 N.C. State.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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.