Five-star power forward Elijah Thomas sets five official visits


Elijah Thomas, a five-star power forward, set four of his five official visits on Friday evening.

The 6-foot-9 big man will visit LSU, Oklahoma State, Illinois and Texas A&M — in that order — this fall, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Thomas will start things off in Baton Rouge on Sept. 6. Johnny Jones already has a commitment from the class’s top player, Ben Simmons. Though that front court could use help, as rising sophomore forwards Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey could both be early entries after this season.

Thomas will follow with a visit to OK State on Sept. 12. Travis Ford enters the 2014-2015 season with a thin frontline with the returning Michael Cobbins. The Cowboys’ Class of 2015 currently features Serge Ibaka’s younger brother, Igor, a junior college power forward. The following weekend, Sept. 19, Thomas will be at Illinois. John Groce’s Class of 2015 is off to a good start with a pair of four-star commits. Thomas will remain in-state for the last of his four scheduled visits, as he head to Texas A&M.

[UPDATE]: On Sunday, Thomas set his fifth official visit, telling Goodman he will be on the SMU campus on Oct. 3 before he heads to A&M. Last week, Thomas announced his six finalists. UNLV is the one finalist not to receive an official visit.

Thomas is rated as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals.

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.