Steve Masiello

Resume issue provides valuable lesson for Manhattan

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In the aftermath of his leading Manhattan to the NCAA tournament and giving Louisville all it wanted before falling in the round of 64, Steve Masiello was considered by many to be a rising star in the coaching profession. His work turning around the Manhattan program ultimately resulted in South Florida offering him its head coaching position and he accepted, with designs of pulling off a similar turnaround.

But because of the fact that he’d yet to complete his undergraduate coursework at Kentucky, despite the fact that his resume stated that he’d graduated, Masiello was no longer in line for that job and his coaching future hung in the balance. After completing his degree requirements Masiello was reinstated as head coach at Manhattan, which had placed him on leave following the discovery.

And in a story written by Scott Gleeson of USA Today, Masiello stated that the situation was “the best thing that could have happened” to him.

“It reprogrammed me from an accountability standpoint,” Masiello told USA TODAY Sports. “I am now proud to say I graduated. And I try to graduate 100% of my players. My job is to impact people’s lives. If this doesn’t get people’s attention — to do the little things — then I don’t know what will. Forget about money or other jobs. I almost lost my career because of a mistake I made when I was 21. Now I’m 36. I’m not trying to spin that, but I tell my players what you do now matters.”

As Masiello stated, his situation is one that can be used as a learning experience for both he and his players. And after reaching the NCAA tournament a season ago, the Jaspers are capable of making a return trip in spite of some key personnel losses.

Gone from last season’s team are key seniors and leading scorers George Beamon, Michael Alvarado and Rhamel Brown, and their contributions won’t be accounted for easily. But with returnees such as Ashton Pankey, Emmy Andujar and Shane Richards back, and Cincinnati transfer Jermaine Lawrence granted immediate eligibility, Manhattan shouldn’t be ignored when assessing the MAAC race in 2014-15.

In addition to Manhattan, bitter rival Iona should also be a contender with A.J. English and David Laury III back on campus, and a Siena team that returns every key member from a rotation that won the CBI will be heard from as well.

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.