NIT Season Tip-Off

UPDATED: Pitt’s Trey Zeigler popped for DUI

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Trey Zeigler was already struggling as he adjusted to life in a major conference. The last thing he needed was to get pulled over so a DUI, but, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that’s precisely what happened on Sunday morning.

Zeigler “will be charged by mail summons with two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence”, according to the report, although the details of the arrest and of the punishment he’ll be given by Pitt are not yet known.

(UPDATE: Both Jamie Dixon and Zeigler have released statements:

Dixon: “The incident involving Trey Zeigler is not only surprising, but incredibly disappointing. Although I believe it was out of character for Trey, he has been immediately suspended until further notice. Trey has expressed his deep regret to me and understands and respects the importance of accountability for one’s actions.”

Zeigler:”I want to apologize to my family, the University of Pittsburgh, my teammates and coaches and the entire Pittsburgh community. This is not indicative of the kind of person I am, nor the kind of person I want to be.”

Zeigler has been suspended indefinitely by the school.)

The 6-foot-5 junior transferred into Pitt with much fanfare, as he was a former top 30 recruit that averaged 16.0 points and 6.1 boards last season at Central Michigan. But Zeigler’s father was fired as the head coach at CMU during the offseason, so he left the program and was allowed to enroll at Pitt and play immediately without having to sit out a season.

The early returns haven’t been promising, however Zeigler is coming off the bench and averaging just 6.2 points and he’s yet to hit a three-pointer this season. That shooting prowess is why JJ Moore has played over him in the early going, and Lamar Patterson’s ability to create shots for teammates are why he’s seeing minutes in front of Zeigler. His slashing-style doesn’t exactly fit with this Pitt group, and an arrest is unlikely to help his playing time situation.

Pitt looked good at the Preseason NIT in New York last week, giving Michigan all they could handle before running Delaware off the floor.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

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.