Roquez Johnson, Mike Rosario

Mississippi State suspends Roquez Johnson indefinitely

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I’m not sure how much worse Rick Ray’s first season in Starkville can get.

After a mountain of injuries and suspensions for his team, Mississippi State can add another to it with the indefinite suspension of forward Roquez Johnson, according to The Associated Press. Johnson was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Johnson joins junior guard Jalen Steele on the ‘currently suspended’ list for the Bulldogs, who have lost 10 straight games, a streak that began in January with a loss to 75-43 loss to Alabama at home. Mississippi State plays at Alabama on Wednesday.

A 6-7 sophomore, Johnson is averaging 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the 23 contests he’s played in for the 7-17 Bulldogs, who are 2-10 in the SEC.

I mean, come on, what else is there left for Mississippi State this season? DeAndre Applewhite and Jacoby Davis were lost to torn ACLs earlier this season (and preseason), along with countless other injuries and now both Steele, the lone true contributor that returned to Starkville this season, and Johnson, one of the team’s leading rebounders, are suspended until further notice.

With the loss of Johnson, Craig Sword will be forced to carry even more of the load for Mississippi State. He had 25 points in Saturday’s loss to LSU. Expect Gavin Ware and Colin Borchert to step up and increase their minutes down the stretch in the post. Because, really, there all the Bulldogs have left in terms of consistent talent at the forward position.

You’ve just got to feel for Ray. This is Rick Stansbury’s team he inherited and a lot of the guys that were left over just weren’t that talented or don’t seem to want to cooperate with his rules.

It’s safe to say this season just needs to end for the Bulldogs.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten.

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.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.