Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bo Ryan ecourages his team against the Syracuse Orange during the first half of their men's NCAA East Regional basketball game in Boston

Wisconsin announces plans for August trip to Canada

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NCAA rules allow college basketball programs to take one foreign trip every four years, and such excursions can prove beneficial to teams looking to get a head start on the upcoming season.

In theory having the team together in unfamiliar surroundings can help build off-court chemistry, while also having the benefit of practices and games that can help teams mesh on the court.

Wisconsin will leave the country for eight days but Bo Ryan’s team won’t travel all that far, with the Badgers playing five exhibitions in Ottawa and Toronto. Wisconsin won 23 games last season but with mainstays such as Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans out of eligibility, the extra court time is a positive for Ryan’s squad.

Point guard Bronson Koenig and forward Nigel Hayes lead a six-member freshman class, and there’s also the return of point guard Josh Gasser. Expected to be the starter before the 2012-13 season began, Gasser suffered a torn ACL in preseason practice and missed the entire year.

Wisconsin’s trip to Canada will help veterans Ben Brust and Sam Dekker get even more familiar with their new teammates, and the voyage also allows Gasser to shake off some of the rust that can come as a result of a season-ending injury.

“We’re really looking forward to this trip and the opportunities it presents for preparing us for next season,” Ryan said in a statement released by the school.

“Taking this trip allows us 10 practices and five games, which is a great luxury. One aspect that is different from our 2006 trip to Italy is that incoming freshmen are now permitted to practice and play. So for a team with as many new faces as we will have, this gives us a head start on the season.”

Among the Badgers’ five games in Canada is a matchup with the Canadian Junior National Team, which could include players such as Andrew Wiggins (Kansas; has yet to determine summer schedule for Team Canada), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State).

Raphielle 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.