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Georgetown Stonewalls plan special tifo for Syracuse game

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With seats in Section 118 of the Verizon Center, the Georgetown Stonewalls have been a highly active alumni support group for the Georgetown basketball program.

The Stonewalls have displayed various tifo (soccer-style banners, for those who aren’t familiar) at Hoya games, whether it’s to pay homage to the seven basketball schools that will assume the Big East name on July 1 or let a departing conference member (before the split, of course) know how they feel about their decision.

With Saturday’s regular season finale against rival Syracuse also being the final meeting between the two programs as conference rivals (barring a meeting in next week’s Big East tournament), the Stonewalls are planning a special tifo to mark the occasion.

According to a release from the Stonewalls, the tifo measures 52 feet by 25 feet and will feature both Jack the Bulldog and Otto the Orange. This will be the fifth tifo the Stonewalls have created this season.

Featuring the two schools’ mascots, Jack the Bulldog and Otto the Orange, the tifo’s message echoes Georgetown coach John Thompson III’s sentiments about the rivalry and Saturday’s game, “Without a doubt, it’ll be emotional… As much as we both plan on continuing to play, it’s going to be different. What has made these games so special, this rivalry so special — and then, in turn, made this league so special — is the Georgetown-Syracuse games.”

In total the Stonewalls plan to display some 15 flags at the game, with one honoring sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr., who is the favorite for Big East Player of the Year and also one of the candidates for national Player of the Year honors.

With the three-plus decades of memories that the Big East and these two storied rivals have given college basketball, it will be interesting to see what the Stonewalls produce during Saturday’s game.

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.