John Cooper

Miami University announces addition of two transfers

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Having finished the 2012-13 season with a 9-22 record (3-13 Mid-American Conference), the Miami RedHawks found themselves in a position where adding depth to the program would be more than welcome.

Add to that the fact that leading scorer Allen Roberts (12.3 ppg) is no longer with the program, and there’s a chance that the 2013-14 campaign could bring on more growing pains for second-year head coach John Cooper.

On Friday, Cooper announced the official addition of two transfers, 6-10 forward Blake McLimans and 6-3 guard Willie Moore. McLimans, who spent the last four seasons at Michigan (redshirting in 2009-10; 4.3 mpg), will be eligible to play immediately and he’ll be a two-sport athlete as well. A pitcher in high school, McLimans is expected to join Miami’s baseball program.

Moore didn’t see much playing time in his one season at Oregon (7.2 mpg), averaging 2.1 points per game in 2012-13. And with the Ducks retaining the likes of Johnathan Loyd and Dominic Artis, as well as adding Houston transfer Joseph Young, that was unlikely to change in 2013-14. Moore, who has three years of eligibility remaining, will have to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules.

As a result Miami gains two players who have been a part of successful programs, something that shouldn’t be taken lightly given the task in front of coach Cooper and his staff.

“We are thrilled to add these two players to our program,” Cooper said in the release announcing the moves. “Both Blake and Willie bring postseason experience with them to Miami, which will only help us as we move into the future. I think it always helps when you have young men in your program with NCAA Tournament experience.”

Miami lost ten of its final 11 games last season, and the RedHawks struggled throughout the 2012-13 campaign defensively (11th in the MAC in both field goal and three-point percentage defense) and on the boards (12th in rebounding margin, 11th in offensive rebounding percentage and 9th in defensive rebounding percentage).

Senior forward Will Felder (11.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and sophomore guard Reggie Johnson (8.4 ppg) return in 2013-14, as the RedHawks look to take the next step in their rebuilding project.

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.