Bill Self needed more than a lucky tie. Even Mario Chalmers might not have been enough.
Kansas’ coach wore the same tie for Tuesday’s game against No. 2 Kentucky that he wore when his Jayhawks faced John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers in the 2008 national title game. (It does look awfully similar to this tie.)
But it’s clear that Kentucky’s loaded roster – headed by the physical freak known as Anthony Davis – overwhelmed any residual luck that tie might’ve had from Mario’s miracle. A 75-65 win over the No. 12 Jayhawks showed as much.
“Their best offense for a long period of time was our offense,” Self said. “Our bad shots and turnovers led to run-outs and dunks and easy baskets that you’re going to have a hard time defending. So I really think that we helped them, but they were also a lot better in the second half than the first half.”
Not that Kansas should be embarrassed.
The Jayhawks don’t have nearly the talent Kentucky does – a mix of early NBA departures, recruiting misses and some bad luck with the NCAA clearinghouse accounts for that – and hung with the ‘Cats throughout the first half.
The second half was a different story, particularly when Davis (seven blocks) and that Kentucky defense got rolling and guys started hitting shots.
If there’s a Kansas consolation, it’s that the Maui Invitational next week offers a chance to build a little confidence. If it beats Georgetown on Nov. 21, it gets the UCLA-Chaminade winner. The Bruins have hit bottom, while Chaminade is usually the weakest team in the field.
And hey, there’s trophy the memories from when that lucky tie did work …
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.
According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.
The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.
Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.
The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.
Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?