Western Kentucky v Mississippi Valley State

Morehead State releases 2013-14 schedule

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Morehead State released their schedule for the upcoming season, and it is a challenging one.

Second year head coach Sean Woods did not fill the non-conference with cupcakes to pile up wins heading into the Ohio Valley portion of the schedule. In his first year at the helm, Woods led Morehead State to a 15-18 record; their first sub .500 season since 2006-07.

“We’re excited about the upcoming season,” Head Coach Sean Woods said.  “Our schedule is filled with quality opponents, but our team will get better by playing high-level competition.  Our young men will be tested early and often, but I know they’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Next year’s schedule has ten teams that advanced to the postseason on it, but just one NCAA Tournament team — UCLA.

The schedule is highlighted by Morehead State’s participation in the Las Vegas Invitational, where they will open up with UCLA.

Other marquee games on the slate include at Xavier (November 15), vs. Marshall (November 17), at Southern Mississippi (December 4), and at Tennessee (December 23).

Woods takes the “anywhere, anytime, anyplace” approach when it comes to scheduling — an approach that some coaches in low and mid-major conferences use to gain exposure, test their team in November and December, and add some additional funds into the program through guarantee games:

“I expect Xavier, UCLA, Southern Miss and Tennessee to all be big-time road environments, but we have several high-major transfers who have played in that type of atmosphere. That experience should certainly help us. I like to talk about playing anyone, at any time, using any location — and that’s what we’re doing again this year. Our strong non-conference schedule will help our RPI and prepare us for a very challenging league schedule.”

The game at Southern Mississippi will pit the Beakers against their former coach, Donnie Tyndall. Recall that Tyndall led Morehead State to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a win over Louisville in 2011 as a #13 seed.

Said Woods: “We have a solid mix of quality returning players and accomplished newcomers. I’m confident we will play a fast-paced and entertaining brand of basketball.  We’re looking forward to seeing lots of Eagle fans throughout the season.”

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.