Mark Turgeon (AP Photo)

Maryland loses forward Charles Mitchell, adds grad transfer Richaud Pack

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Thursday’s been a busy day for the Maryland basketball program, as Mark Turgeon announced both an addition and a departure. The addition is former North Carolina A&T shooting guard Richaud Pack, who averaged 17.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season. As a graduate transfer he’ll be eligible immediately, giving the Terrapins at the very least additional depth and experience on the perimeter.

We’re excited to welcome Richaud to the University of Maryland,” Turgeon said in the release. “He comes from a great family and I really enjoyed getting to know Richaud and his mother, Kaija, during this process. Richaud is a great shooter and scorer and will fit in well with our team and system.

“He will have an opportunity to further his education in business administration, a field he is very passionate about.”

Maryland’s lost three players from its backcourt this offseason, with Seth Allen (Virginia Tech), Nick Faust (undecided after originally committing to Oregon State) and Roddy Peters (South Florida) all deciding to transfer. That left Jake Layman, Dez Wells and some talented yet inexperienced options, point guard Romelo Trimble, shooting guard Dion Wiley and wing Jared Nickens, in the perimeter rotation prior to the addition of Pack.

As for the departure, that would be rising junior forward Charles Mitchell who according to the release looking to join a program closer to his native Georgia due to the health of his grandmother. Mitchell averaged 6.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season, starting ten of the 32 games in which he played.

“I loved playing for Coach. He is a great man and great coach. The reason I decided to leave Maryland is to be near my grandmother who has been ill over the past year,” Mitchell said in the release. “Knowing that she raised me and is still a very big part of my life, I decided to move closer to home. It’s important for me to be there for my grandmother and to help support my family. I didn’t want to leave, but I have to put my family first.

“I really enjoyed playing with my teammates and I’ve had a lot of great memories over the last two seasons. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and wish Maryland nothing but success in the future.”

Mitchell’s departure leaves Maryland with seniors Evan Smotrycz and John Graham, sophomore Damontre Dodd and freshmen Michael Cekovsky (whose addition was also announced Thursday) and Trayvon Reed in the front court, with Mitchell joining Shaquille Cleare (Texas) as big men who have led the program since the end of the season.

The 2014-15 season, Maryland’s first as a member of the Big Ten, will be an important one as Turgeon looks to lead the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance during his 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.