2013 UA All-Star Weekend

Brekkott Chapman commits to Utah

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Larry Krystkowiak has had one of the tougher rebuilding jobs on his hands since he took over Utah three seasons ago. He’s made headway in his two seasons, after a 6-25 maiden campaign, the Utes improved to 15-18 last season.

Now, top recruits are starting to take notice, apparently, with the Utes getting their first pledge of 2014 in power forward Brekkott Chapman.

The 6-8, 215-pound Roy, Utah product decided to stay in-state on Monday afternoon. Chapman’s AAU coach told Scout.com’s Josh Gershon what went into the commitment (subscription required). Chapman, a four-star recruit, was ranked the 16th-best power forward in his class by Scout.com.

According to Chapman’s AAU coach, Lynn Lloyd with the Utah Prospects, the biggest reason the four-star prospect chose Utah was his relationship with head coach Larry Krystkowiak.

“It was his relationship with Larry,” Lloyd said. “He worked his (butt) off and didn’t miss a game. It was all about Larry; it was his relationship with coach K.”

Besides a 25-10 year in 2008-09 under Jim Boylen, the Utes haven’t had a ton to be happy about since Ray Giacoletti’s first season, a 29-6 season in 2004-05 season where Utah made the Sweet 16. That was the first full season after Rick Majerus resigned.

To hear that Krystkowiak is getting top-level talent means he’s got the program on the rebound. To hear it’s happening because of his own relationship with the players should really get Utah fans excited. Because players say they commit for a lot of reasons (facilities, style of play, etc.) but for a team that’s won 20 games once in the last eight seasons, it’s a tough sell — it probably didn’t hurt that Chapman is a native Utahan, though — and relationships with the players and coaches are magnified.

Here are a few highlights of Chapman to see what he’s bringing to Salt Lake City in 2014.

(Photo courtesy of Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

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.