Travis Ford

Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford explains how he reacted to Marcus Smart shoving incident


Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford spoke at Sunday evening’s press conference regarding Marcus Smart’s suspension following a shoving incident involving Texas Tech “superfan” Jeff Orr.

On Tuesday morning Ford appeared on ESPNU’s Katz’s Korner with host Andy Katz to discuss more specifically the situation which unfolded on Saturday evening with six second remaining in the Cowboys’ third consecutive loss.

Kelly Hines, of the Tulsa World, transcribed the interview on Tuesday afternoon.

Ford declined to comment on the specifics of what was said to Smart, citing that he was not there to hear it firsthand. He was also unaware that Smart was in an altercation with a fan. The Oklahoma State bench was at the far end of the court during that incident, and Ford was under the impression, even after discussing it with an official, that Smart had shoved an opposing player on the floor.

“But I know a lot of people are saying I should have done this or should have done that, but I had six seconds left,” Ford told Katz. “I had to get the guys (together) who were actually out there. I took Marcus out, got our security guy with him and I had to regroup our guys who were actually in the game, trying to figure out how to end the game and give ourselves an opportunity to win it. There were still six seconds left, so there was still time for us to make a shot if they missed free throws. … But once I saw it – because I did not see it until even after my press conference – I saw what had happened. … Once I saw the tape, he was very, very calm as he fouled the guy and fell into kind of the cameraman and into the fans a little bit. He was still very calm because there were a couple of fans who actually helped him up and he was very calm, and then all of a sudden you could see something was said and he just turned around in a split second and made a major, major mistake.”

Many questioned as to why Smart wasn’t ejected from the game, though Big 12 officials do not have the authority to do so. That’s why Smart remained on the floor. As Ford said, there was still time for an unlikely comeback especially after Jaye Crockett made it a two-possession game with a pair of free throws. Fans stormed the floor immediately as the buzzer sounded while Smart was still on the floor, upset over the events that occurred moments earlier.

Three days later, Ford admits he should have sent Smart to the locker room in hindsight.

“Yes, we could have taken him straight to the locker room and probably should have at that point,” Ford told ESPNU. “He was not thrown out of the game. … I took him out of the game at that particular time. Now should we have taken him on to the locker room, right now looking at it, yes.”

Oklahoma State begins its first of three games without Smart on Tuesday night against No. 15 Texas.

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.