Andrew Del Piero

From music scholarship to high-major basketball: Andrew Del Piero getting minutes at LSU

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If you’re 7-3, you likely won’t be featured in the New York Times. If you’re a musician in a college marching band, you likely won’t be featured in the New York Times. But if you’re a 7-3 musician in a college marching band who also happens to play on the school’s basketball team, you’ve got a chance.

Andrew Del Piero, LSU’s 7-3 senior center, got his first start of the year against Seton Hall on Nov. 29 and is now finding his spot in the Tigers’ regular rotation. The former sousaphone player was on a music scholarship at LSU before walking on to the school’s basketball team.

He has seen minutes in all seven of LSU’s games and, though he’s not in the running for any all-conference teams, is averaging a solid 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting an impressive 75 percent from the floor.

He wasn’t always that way, though, he tells the New York Times.

“I was really uncoordinated when I was younger and I got discouraged,” Del Piero said, according to the paper. “It wasn’t what I wanted to do. At the time, anyway.”

“A lot of people at school had seen me play, and they knew that I wasn’t a basketball player,” he added.

He then, according to the report, began to play in the school’s recreational league and gained confidence along the way. With a boost from former LSU forward Collis Temple, he walked on to the team and is now finding himself in the regular rotation.

Read the full NYT story here.

Below is a video of Del Piero marching with the LSU band:

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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.