Former NC State commit Torian Graham signs with Houston

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Days after losing its two top scorers to transfers, Houston scored a commitment from a former top 100 recruit on Sunday morning.

Torian Graham, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from the Class of 2012 who spent the past two seasons at Chipola Junior College (Fla.), announced via Twitter that he had signed with Houston.

Graham had twice committed and decommitted from NC State. After not being cleared by the NCAA in October of 2012, he enrolled at Chipola. He averaged 12.9 points per game, only appearing in 15 games this past season. He played on a team with future UConn guard Sam Cassell Jr. and power forward Cinmeon Bowers, who commited to Auburn last Sunday.

Houston hired Kelvin Sampson as the program’s new head coach on April 2. Within weeks, TaShawn Thomas and Danuel House, who led the Cougars in both scoring and rebounding, requested releases from their scholarships. While adding a shooting guard won’t help the lost production on the frontline, it does give Houston a gifted scorer and a second member of its incoming class along with Yates High (Texas) forward J.C. Washington.

Graham was rated as the No. 67 recruit in the Class of 2012 by Rivals.

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.