Saint Mary's

How will NCAA sanctions affect Saint Mary’s? (VIDEO)

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The NCAA came down hard on Saint Mary’s Friday with sanctions stemming from recruiting violations by the school and former assistant and director of basketball operations Keith Moss. Among the sanctions are:

– Four years probation from March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2017
– A five-game suspension during the 2013-14 season for head coach Randy Bennett
– An off-campus recruiting ban for Bennett during the 2013-14 academic year
– A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach, Moss
– Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships from 13 to 11 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
– Elimination of foreign tours by the men’s basketball team until the start of the 2017-18 season.
– The men’s basketball team may not participate in a multiple-team event until the 2015-16 season.
– The men’s basketball team may not receive skill instruction during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

With all of that, though, Saint Mary’s escapes without a postseason ban or show-cause penalty for Bennett, both of which would be more damaging for the coach and program. The biggest obstacles for the Gaels may be in scheduling, now that they will be barred from playing in preseason tournaments. Without the chance to beef up their non-conference schedule with those tournaments, the Gaels will need to be more ambitious in driving their strength of schedule through individual matchups.

Gonzaga will likely continue to be a power in the WCC, so with sanctions in place Saint Mary’s will need to keep up.

Ray Ratto of had an alternative take on the sanctions, writing that “the punishers are on their heels as well, for deeds that far exceed Saint Mary’s.”

Read his piece here and check out video from CSN Bay Area below:

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

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.