Clemson Athletics

Hip surgery to sideline Clemson freshman Patrick Rooks for entire season

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During Clemson’s summer trip to Italy freshman guard Patrick Rooks shot the ball well, knocking down 44.4% of his shots from beyond the arc and averaging 7.0 points per game despite not scoring in the Tigers’ first exhibition. How big his role would have been this season is up for debate, given the fact that while young the Tigers do have options on the perimeter.

Unfortunately for both Rooks and Clemson he won’t have the opportunity to earn playing time this season, as a hip injury suffered during the preseason requires surgery that is expected to sideline him for the entire 2013-14 campaign. The news was announced by the Clemson athletic department.

“This is an unfortunate situation for Patrick,” Brownell said in the release. “He is a three-point specialist who shot the ball very well in Italy. Fortunately for us, we do have great depth in the backcourt. It’s a unique injury, something I haven’t seen in 20 years of coaching.

“I know our doctors and athletic trainer will do everything in their power to get him healthy. We look forward to having Patrick ready to go next season.”

The 6-foot-2 Rooks’ ability as a perimeter shooter could have proven valuable to Clemson, especially when considering how much the Tigers struggled offensively last season. Clemson finished the season 11th in the ACC in both field goal (42.4%) and three-point percentage (31.7%), tenth in offensive efficiency (98.9) and last in the ACC in scoring offense (61.5 ppg).

With forwards Devin Booker and Milton Jennings out of eligibility the Tigers have to replace two of their top three leading scorers, with junior wing K.J. McDaniels (10.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg) being their leading returnee. Also back for Clemson are junior guards Rod Hall (5.7 ppg, 3.5 apg) and Damarcus Harrison (5.2 ppg), who had originally planned to take his LDS mission after playing in 2012-13 before postponing that indefinitely, and sophomore guard Jordan Roper (7.9 ppg).

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.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.