Richard Pitino

Minnesota coach Richard Pitino credits new NCAA policy, Shabazz Napier, for freshman’s weight gain

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Much was made of Shabazz Napier’s remarks about the lack of food available to NCAA student-athletes during the NCAA Tournament this past March, but the NCAA changed the rule to allow for more food and snacks in April.

Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino credited the change in the NCAA rules, as well as Napier, for incoming freshman Carlos Morris putting on 17 pounds since he arrived on campus this summer.

With the new NCAA legislation in place, it should be easier for student-athletes to have a proper diet to go along with weight training to increase muscle mass in a shorter amount of time.

From Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press:

When Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino told reporters last week that scrawny freshman Carlos Morris gained 17 pounds since joining the team this summer, he credited the NCAA’s new policy.

“He came in, he might have been 160 pounds,” Pitino said. “Now that he gets in this environment, and he’s eating several times a day, thanks to Shabazz Napier, he’ll eat like 20 times a day. So we just keep feeding him. That’s the way it’s going to be.”

Besides coaches feeling good that their players aren’t going to bed hungry, could we see more development in the weight room for certain players and programs? It will probably help with certain athletes and hurt others who eat too much and add unnecessary weight.

The pros and cons of muscle development wasn’t often cited when the new legislation was put in place by the NCAA, but it could help some freshmen immediately gain strength and acclimate more quickly into college basketball.

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.