Erik Pastrana hired as assistant at Stephen F. Austin

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New Stephen F. Austin coach Brad Underwood has added to his coaching staff heading into his first season at the helm.

Erik Pastrana, who has spent the past season as an assistant at Northwest Florida State College, has taken a spot on the Lumberjacks’ staff, the school announced.

“We’re very excited to be adding Erik to our staff,” Underwood said. “He’ll be joining two experienced coaches and will add a great dimension to our staff, especially in recruiting. Erik is one of the up and coming stars in our industry and has great ties to the Florida area. We feel strongly about his ability to bring talent here.”

The job is Pastrana’s first as a full-fledged assistant at the Division I level. He spent the 2011-12 season at Labette (Kan.) Community College and also spent time coaching on the AAU circuit as well. He served as a graduate assistant at Kansas State after attended Florida State as an undergrad.

This is good hire for Underwood and a program like the Lumberjacks. The team’s roster last season featured five junior college players, and Pastrana obviously has solid roots in the JuCo ranks — the Raiders made the NJCAA National Championship game last season and Northwest Florida routinely sends multiple players to mid-and-high major Division I programs yearly. Pastrana also helped develop last year’s Junior College National Player of the Year Chris Jones, whom signed with Louisville.

(Photo courtesy of Stephen F. Austin University.)

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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.