2014 forward Vince Edwards commits to Purdue

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Matt Painter had been recruiting Vince Edwards, a 6-foot-6 forward from Franklin, OH, dating back to the fall of 2011. Finally, on Edwards’ official visit to Purdue over the weekend, he pledged a commitment to play for Painter at Purdue. Painter’s persistence paid off, especially considering that Big Ten rival Michigan recently came into the fold for Edwards.

One can only imagine how Painter felt this past May when, according to Edwards who spoke with UMHoops.com, Michigan and John Beilein were on equal footing with Purdue:  “They’re both equal right now, honestly. They’re the same type of guys, the same people…It’s which school I’m most comfortable with, honestly. Both schools are a good fit for me.”

Rumors swirled in February of 2012 that Edwards, a sophomore in high school at the time, had committed to Purdue thanks to a bevy of tweets made by Edwards seemingly hinting that he was committing to Purdue — the dangers of social media and fans on message boards reading into things a bit too closely.

When he finally committed to Purdue yesterday, Edwards told Jeff Washburn of the Journal and Courier that he never had any doubts about Purdue and its program, but needed to weigh all of his options before committing: “Never in my mind have I had a doubt about Purdue. But of course, I wanted to be sure that I was making the right decision. I felt like it was the right decision to make, so I made it today.”

Edwards is ranked as the #80 recruit in the class of 2014, according to ESPN.com, and he joins fellow Ohioan Dakota Mathias as the Boilermakers’ second recruit for its 2014 class. Mathias’ commitment to Purdue certainly played a factor in Edwards’ decision: “Dakota played a big part at the end. We’ve played together in open gym, and just by doing that, I could tell he knows how to play the game. We connected right there on the court. I want to play with Dakota. He is a really good player.”

More than just a basketball player, Edwards has a good head on his shoulders as he clicked with the academic staff at Purdue, and seems to have already committed himself to studying kinesiology:

“The academic advisors really sold me on the fact that they really are here for the kids and to teach the kids. That was kind of different from other schools that I have been to…I kind of want to follow in the footsteps of my father, my brother and my mom, who all wanted to be coaches. If I can coach, that is what I will do, but I also want to look at being an athletic trainer.”

For now, Matt Painter will count on Edwards to be an impact player for his program; the coaching can hold off for a while.

Below is Edwards’ official mixtape:

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.