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Towson’s Pat Skerry, Marshall’s Tom Herrion push for Autism Awareness Day

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Towson head coach Pat Skerry and Marshall head coach Tom Herrion are teaming up to sponsor Autism Awareness Day on Feb. 1st.

Feb. 1st is a Saturday, so the two coaches broke down the national television schedules and picked out 41 games and 82 coaches they believe will get the most publicity. They then purchased 82 blue, puzzle piece-shaped lapel pins from Autism Speaks and sent them off to some of the biggest names in the coaching business.

Mike Krzyzewski, Bill Self, Tom Izzo and Jim Boeheim, among many others, have agreed to wear the pins.

“Anybody that has a child that has any sort of special needs or diagnoses, the biggest thing is you’re trying to allow your child to be normal,” Herrion told Brian Hamilton of “In today’s society, as a parent, that’s your biggest fear. You try to educate people so they understand.”

Both Herrion and Skerry have children that have been diagnosed with Autism, so their charitable effort stem from personal experience.

“It’s [about] getting help for people,” Skerry said. “It’s a cost. I’m fortunate. There’s a lot of other people that maybe aren’t. Hopefully with more money and research – you’re talking about our children here – how do you help them? How do you help them figure it out?”

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.