Jeronne Maymon

Knee injury forces Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon to redshirt

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One question throughout the non-conference portion of the schedule was how much of an impact would power forward Jeronne Maymon have on the Tennessee Volunteers upon his return from an injury to his left knee.

Unfortunately for Maymon and the Volunteers they’ll have to figure things out without their leading rebounder from a season ago, as a slow recovery led to the decision to sit out the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

Maymon will redshirt this season and plans to return for his fifth year according to the school release.

“It’s really tough to know that I can’t be on the court with my teammates this season. But I have confidence in them, just like I have confidence in these coaches and our medical staff,” Maymon said in the release. “I know this is in my best interest, and I am going to work incredibly hard to come back as an even better player and teammate next season. I love Tennessee.

“I believe everything happens for a reason, and I see this injury as a blessing in disguise. God does not make mistakes.”

Maymon averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season, and with Jarnell Stokes having a full offseason in the Tennessee program (he didn’t join the Vols until January last season) the native of Madison, Wisconsin was expected to be one of the SEC’s best front court players.

But Maymon underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee in June, only to suffer a setback in the recovery process in November. He didn’t participate in a single practice this season.

With Maymon ruled out the question for Tennessee (8-4) as they begin SEC play is whether or not Cuonzo Martin’s team can improve its production on the offensive end. Tennessee is averaging 64.5 points per game and shooting 42.6% from the field, numbers that rank 11th and 10th in the SEC respectively.

The Volunteers posted their second-highest point total of the season in Friday night’s 85-80 loss to Memphis, shooting 43.6% from the field and scoring 17 second-chance points.

Jordan McRae (26 points) and Josh Richardson (20 points, nine rebounds) led the way, and those two will be key figures going forward in the Volunteers’ quest to return to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season.

Tennessee opens SEC play on Wednesday night, hosting Ole Miss.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report 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.