Eron Harris

Eron Harris speaks on decision to leave West Virginia

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One of the biggest transfers of the college basketball offseason was former West Virginia sophomore guard Eron Harris opting to leave the Big 12 program in favor of Michigan State.

Harris committed to the Spartans earlier this week and in an interview with Allan Taylor of the West Virginia MetroNews, the high-scoring guard opened up about his decision to leave the Mountaineers.

“At West Virginia, I just didn’t feel like my life was whole,” Harris said to Taylor. “The basketball part was going pretty well, but I felt stressed in some other areas.”

Much has been made of West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins losing a handful of transfers the last few years, but Harris declined to say anything negative about Huggins or the West Virginia fans that had bad things to say about him on the way out.

Harris’ father, Eric, however, had some things to say about Huggins to The Detroit News earlier this week.

“The coaching style at West Virginia wasn’t a match for Eron,” Eric Harris said to The Detroit News. “We respect Coach (Bob Huggins) and the fans who are real loyal to the school. We just felt like we needed the change for the betterment of Eron’s basketball future.”

The Detroit News story also relays that Eric Harris went to Purdue with the father of former Michigan State guard Gary Harris (no relation) and Gary’s father spoke glowingly of Izzo and Michigan State to Eric Harris. That aided the Spartans in landing their new two-guard, as Eron Harris will help replace Gary Harris after Eron sits out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Eron Harris will have two seasons of eligibility remaining in East Lansing.

Although he’s leaving West Virginia behind, Harris took a high road in reflecting on his two years there.

“I came through there and learned some things. There were some good things that happened to me and some bad things that happened,” Harris said to Taylor. “And I appreciate all the fans that showed me love, I really do.”

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in his sophomore season at West Virginia and also had impressive shooting splits as he shot 43 percent from the field, 42 percent from three-point range and 85 percent from the free-throw line.

It’s hard to say whether the basketball aspect of things is the primary reason that Harris left West Virginia — since Eron and his father seem to give different answers — but given the recent number of departures under Huggins, it’s hard not to wonder.

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.