Texas Tech Smith Basketball

2013 point guard Randy Onwuasor commits to Texas Tech

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First-year Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith landed his fourth commitment in the 2013 class Wednesday, as 6-3 point guard Randy Onwuasor committed to attend the school as reported by Ben Weixlmann of Scout.com.

Texas Tech later released a statement announcing the signing of Onwuasor, who attended Inglewood High School in Inglewood, Calif.

Onwuasor earned Ocean League Most Outstanding Player honors as a senior, posting averages of 15.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Also recruited by Cal-State Fullerton, LSU, Miami (Ohio) and Saint Louis, Onwuasor joins junior college transfer Robert Turner and freshmen Alex Foster and Cory Scott in Smith’s inaugural recruiting class at Texas Tech.

“We believe that Randy adds some depth to our backcourt that we need. He has obviously had a good scholastic career. He is a very talented and very physical guard that can play both the point and shooting guard positions,” Smith said of Onwuasor in the school release.

“I think he fits our style of play and is one of three incoming freshmen that really improves our recruiting class.  He also gives us a connection to California where we have had some success in the past in recruiting and we want to continue that in the future.”

With the signing of Onwuasor, Texas Tech continues to embark on the task of reshaping the roster after a 2012-13 season that lacked continuity. It all began with the dismissal of Billy Gillispie, and there’s also the tendency for roster changes to occur when going from one coach (interim head coach Chris Walker) to another (Smith).

The good news for the Red Raiders is that both Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert are expected to return next season. Crockett (12.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Tolbert (9.8, 5.4) led the team in both scoring and rebounding last season, and their decision to return to Lubbock will help the newcomers.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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.