SMU makes a statement, beats No. 17 UConn 74-65

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To get an idea of where we are in college basketball in 2014, think about this: No. 17 UConn playing at SMU is a league game, one where the Huskies taking a 74-65 loss to the Mustangs probably isn’t an upset.

Let that sink in for a minute.

UConn has won three national titles and been to four Final Fours in the last 15 years. There are players on SMU’s basketball team that weren’t alive the last time that the Mustangs: a) made the tournament, and b) beat a ranked team at home, both of which happened in 1993. And, again, it probably wasn’t even an upset.

We’ve been over what’s plaguing the Huskies, so there’s really no need to rehash that conversation.

But what about the Mustangs?

How seriously do we have to take this team?

Think about it like this: this is a team with one of the nation’s most underrated guards in Nic Moore, a front line that features a trio of high-major big men — Markus Kennedy, Yannick Moreira, Shawn Williams — and has yet to get their most talented perimeter player, McDonalds All-American freshman Keith Frazier, into a rhythm.

I don’t think this group can win the American even when you factor in the Larry Brown Effect. I’m not betting against Louisville, Memphis or Cincinnati. But I do think it is fair to say that SMU can beat any team in this league on any given night. Those road trips to Dallas are not going to be the easy wins that they were during SMU’s Conference USA tenure.

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.