Jim Crews

Saint Louis will need some of six-man recruiting class to step up in 2014-15

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Saint Louis lost five experienced seniors from a 2014 NCAA Tournament team and they’ll need some of its six-man incoming freshman class to make an impact in the 2014-15 season.

In an interesting read from Tom Timmerman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Billikens already have their six freshman on campus for summer sessions and the program is trying to get the new guys acclimated as quickly as possible.

Joining Saint Louis this season are guards Davell Roby, Marcus Bartley and Miles Reynolds, wing Malik Yarbrough, forward Brett Jolly and center Austin Gillman.

While every program initiates freshmen by putting them in the weight room and helping them learn terminology, senior members of the team are also helping cook for the team’s freshmen and teaching them about proper nutrition:

The freshmen are by no means alone in knowing they will be counted on. The team’s veterans also know it, which is why, for instance, senior Grandy Glaze has taken to cooking for his new teammates, trying to turn them on to the beauties of grilled chicken over fried chicken, of brown rice over white rice.

“They’re puppies,” Glaze said. “You have to feed your puppies.”

The puppies quote is one of the better quotes I’ve seen in quite some time, but Glaze is right. As Timmerman notes, no Saint Louis freshman has played over 180 minutes in a season in the last three years, so this will be a bit of a change for the Billikens with almost half of the roster entering as wide-eyed newcomers.

Expectations probably aren’t as high for Saint Louis as the past few seasons, but the year will be made much easier if some of the freshmen can start helping right away.

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.