Ben Howland

Reports: Ben Howland to be fired by UCLA (UPDATED)


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(UPDATE: As of Sunday night, it’s now official. Ben Howland has been fired by UCLA.)

According to multiple reports, Ben Howland has been notified that he is going to be fired as the head coach of UCLA.

Alex Kline of the Recruit Scoop was the first the news, but Adam Zagoria and Yahoo! Sports have since confirmed the news. An official announcement is expected either Sunday or Monday. This was the worst kept secret in college basketball. Howland, who had taken UCLA to three Final Four and who won the Pac-12 regular season title this year, was an unemployed coach working.

This move creates all kinds of intrigue heading into the next month, however.

Not only is the UCLA job now open, but the USC job is as well. USC isn’t a bad place to be, but the best selling point that it had over the last two months was that Howland, who had alienated seemingly everyone in Southern California, was the head coach.

Now it looks like he’s gone, and the guy that everyone thought USC was going after — Jamie Dixon — has reupped with Pitt.

Who eventually gets that USC job will be interesting, but it may depend on who UCLA is able to land. And seeing as there is an opening at one of the Blue Bloods, expect a lot of high-profile names to pop up. Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, Billy Donovan, Mark Few.

You want an under the radar name?

How about Tad Boyle at Colorado. He’s proven that he can coach, taking the Buffaloes to back-to-back tournaments, and he’s done so by being able to recruit Southern California.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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.