Jake Layman

Bahamas trip a sign of things to come for Maryland’s Jake Layman?

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One of the debates that comes with college basketball teams hitting the road during the summer for some sightseeing and competition against unfamiliar opponents is just how much we should take out of the performances.

If a team performs poorly, as Michigan did before the 2010-11 season, the jokes and prognostications forecasting regular season failure come at a rapid rate. That group of Wolverines, who went 1-3 in Europe with its lone victory coming in the finale, ended up taking Duke to the wire in the second round of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Or a team can perform incredibly well against dubious competition, returning to the States to much fanfare only to struggle during the regular season. So in the aftermath of Maryland’s 3-0 trip to the Bahamas, it’s important to take note of both the positives and negatives of the voyage without overreacting.

Jake Layman capped the trip with 25 points in the Terrapins’ 88-77 victory over the Grand Bahamas All-Stars on Friday, the second time in three games that the sophomore reached the 25-point mark. Layman shot 5-for-8 from beyond the arc on Friday, and this stat is the one many Maryland fans will focus on based upon the team’s struggles from deep in 2012-13.

Maryland shot 33.9% from beyond the arc last season, a number that ranked ninth in the ACC (Maryland shot 31.7% in conference games) and played nearly as big a role as their instability at the point did in landing the Terrapins in the Postseason NIT.

Just as there remains the question of who will run the show for Mark Turgeon’s team (Seth Allen and Roddy Peters will likely handle the chores), there’s also the question of who the perimeter shooters will be. If Maryland can find some answers here, they’ll be able to reap the rewards in other areas according to Daniel Martin of CSN Washington.

Three-point shooting was a major area of concern for Maryland last season, having shot just 33.9 percent from behind the arc. If Layman is able to fill the role of go-to three-point shooter from the stretch forward position, it would open up driving lanes for guards Dez Wells and Seth Allen, as well as interior opportunities for Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell.

With Alex Len off to the NBA the Terps have some adjustments to make as they prepare for their final season in the ACC, and having extra practices and games will help in that regard with Layman’s performance one of the positives to take from the Bahamas.

But it’s important to keep in mind that this was just one step in the process of returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010.

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.