Junior college PG Jeff Newberry commits to Oklahoma State

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At the end of the 2012-13 season Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart surprised many who follow college basketball with his decision to return to school for his sophomore season. After winning Big 12 Rookie of the Year honors, Smart had the look of a surefire lottery pick according to many NBA scouts. However that wasn’t enough to dissuade him from playing another season in Stillwater, and his decision (along with those of Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash) immediately made Travis Ford’s squad one of the favorites in the Big 12.

But there’s no guarantee that Smart would make the same decision at the end of the 2013-14 campaign. In fact, during USA Basketball’s June minicamp the sophomore stated that this would be his last season at Oklahoma State. With that in mind the Cowboys needed to reel in a point guard in their 2014 recruiting class, and on Sunday that’s exactly what happened.

According to multiple outlets New Mexico JC point guard Jeff Newberry, who began his collegiate career at Ole Miss, verbally committed to attend the Big 12 school.

Newberry, who joins shooting guard Jared Terrell in Oklahoma State’s 2014 haul, chose the Cowboys over UConn and Texas Tech. In a story written by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Newberry acknowledged that Smart’s status did have an impact on his decision.

Newberry didn’t play in a single game at Ole Miss, redshirting in 2011-12 before transferring to Northeast Oklahoma A&M. There, Newberry averaged 14.8 points and 4.3 assists per game with arguably his best performance coming in a 108-99 win over Eastern Oklahoma JC on February 25. In the victory Newberry accounted for 24 points (8-for-12 FG), ten assists and just one turnover.

In regards to Oklahoma State’s depth at the point guard position, this is an important commitment. With Smart seemingly headed to the next level after this season, the Cowboys will be able to pair Newberry with current freshman Stevie Clark.

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.