Naismith Trophy’s 50 Watch List announced

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The Naismith Trophy announced the 50 players on their watch list for the Player of the Year award on Thursday. If you’re curious, here are our Player of the Year Power Rankings:

Jordan Adams, UCLA
Kyle Anderson, UCLA
Isaiah Austin, Baylor
Jerrelle Benimon, Towson
Jahii Carson, Arizona State
Semaj Christon, Xavier
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado
Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
Perry Ellis, Kansas
C.J. Fair, Syracuse
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Aaron Gordon, Arizona
Treveon Graham, VCU
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
Gary Harris, Michigan State
Joe Harris, Virginia
Andrew Harrison, Kentucky
Tyler Haws, BYU
Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss
Rodney Hood, Duke
Joe Jackson, Memphis
Cory Jefferson, Baylor
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
Alex Kirk, New Mexico
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Mitch McGary, Michigan
Jordan McRae, Tennessee
James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
Johnny O’Bryant, LSU
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
Jabari Parker, Duke
Adreian Payne, Michigan State
Julius Randle, Kentucky
Juvonte Reddic, VCU
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State
Wayne Selden, Kansas
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Russ Smith, Louisville
Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee
Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke
Noah Vonleh, Indiana
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
Kendall Williams, New Mexico
Chaz Williams, Massachusetts
James Young, Kentucky

Here is the conference-by-conference breakdown:

ACC: 7
American: 5
Atlantic-10: 3
Big East: 2
Big Ten: 9
Big 12: 6
Mountain West: 2
Pac-12: 5
SEC: 7
WCC: 2
Everyone else: 5

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.