Central Florida lands four-star 2015 forward Alex Owens

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Central Florida is making the move to the American this season, but the Knights  also have something to look forward to in 2015 with the arrival of its latest recruit, Oak Ridge High (Fla.) power forward Alex Owens.

The 6-foot-8 Owens committed to UCF on Tuesday, according to ESPN College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman.

“I wanted to stay close to home and be near my family,” Owens told Goodman. “I really like coach (Donnie) Jones, their staff and how they are with the players. I just felt different about them than the other schools.”

This is an impressive commit for Central Florida. Owens is ranked as the No. 71 overall player in the Class of 2015 according to Rivals. Despite only entering his junior season, the Orlando, Fla. native held offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Missouri, N.C. State and Providence.

This summer, Owens played in the Nike EYBL with the eventual Peach Jam champion Each 1 Teach 1 (Fla.). During the Peach Jam in July, Owens saw an increase in his production. He averaged 9.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He played alongside Duke commit Grayson Allen, North Carolina bound Joel Berry and D’Angelo Russell, who is committed to Ohio State.

He also also averaged 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game for USA South in the Nike Global Challenge. He ended the four-game showcase with back-to-back double doubles (14 points, 11 rebounds; 17 points, 10 rebounds) against USA Midwest and USA West.

Owens is the second commit UCF has received this summer. In August, Boone High (Fla.) point guard B.J. Taylor became the lone commit in its Class of 2014.

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.