Cory Jefferson, Tomas Gipson

Baylor tops No. 16 Iowa State as Big 12 continues to beat up on each other

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It looked like another Big 12 game was going down to the wire as Baylor and No. 16 Iowa State were deadlocked at 61 with 2:14 remaining. Then senior guard Brady Heslip continued his strong second half with a three-pointer that put Baylor on a 13-0 run to close out the game and the Bears picked up a crucial 74-61 home Big 12 win.

The victory for Baylor bolsters its NCAA Tournament hopes as the Bears have now won seven of eight games after starting 2-8 in Big 12 play.

Heslip finished with 18 points and knocked in all five of his three-pointers in the second half as the game featured 15 lead changes and four ties. Cory Jefferson finished with 21 points and seven rebounds to lead the Bears while Kenny Chery added 16 points.

It continued a trend in which the Big 12’s top eight teams beat up on each other at home as Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa State and Kansas State sit between second and fifth place in the conference at six and seven conference losses. Baylor and Oklahoma State are likely NCAA Tournament teams with nine conference losses.

For a conference that many have called the best in the country, how can we really tell how good the league is if everyone keeps beating each other? Kansas has played a ridiculous non-conference schedule and sits three full games ahead of second place in the Big 12, so we probably have a pretty good feel for the Jayhawks, but as for the rest of the Big 12, do we really know how good these teams are heading into March?

I guess we can only wait and see how the NCAA Tournament plays out to find out the answer to that question.

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.