OK, what joker tapped John Jenkins as player of the year?

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The shortlist for college hoops player of the year revolves around a handful of guys, but apparently these are the ones to beat: Thomas Robinson (Kansas), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) and Doug McDermott (Creighton).

That’s from a straw poll of award voters conducted by Michael Rothstein, who’s now in his fourth season of doing this. The poll’s first result doesn’t always produce the winner (John Wall and Kemba Walker were eventually passed in 2010 and 2011), but it always produces a reliable assessment of who’s in the running.

Here’s a basic stat comparison of the three, courtesy of StatSheet. Take note of how well McDermott rebounds compared to the other two. Anyway, there’ll be plenty of time to discuss all three in the next month or so. They’re gonna stay atop the poll.

What’s more interesting is the other two players who garnered No. 1 votes.

Of the 49 respondents, one voted for Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis – honestly, I’m a little surprised Davis didn’t have more support – and Vanderbilt junior John Jenkins.


John Jenkins? I had the sharpshooting guard on our first-team All-American list, but he’d fallen off my radar after the Commodores’ disappointing start. Is he really having a national player of the year-type season?

Not to go all The Poll Attacks! on you, but probably not. He’s having yet another really good season, just not on par with the other three. His scoring (19.8 ppg) and shooting (48 percent overall, 44.7 beyond the arc) are up from last season, and he’s assumed a larger offensive burden in the process. He keeps it up, he’s headed for an All-SEC season and All-American consideration.

The problem is Jenkins is a defensive liability and he doesn’t rebound or dish many assists. He’s one-dimensional. “So? So was Jimmer!? Right?” Well, yes and no.

Fredette’s shooting percentages weren’t as impressive as Jenkins, but everything else dwarfs Jenkins. Fredette scored nearly 10 more points a game, was nearly as efficient doing and assumed a larger portion of the offense. He also doubled Jenkins’ assists and rebound totals. And BYU was much better than Vandy.

It’d be one thing if Vandy (13-4) relied on Jenkins the way BYU needed Fredette. But the Commodores’ win streak coincides with the return of center Festus Ezeli, meaning Jenkins doesn’t have to do nearly as much.

Jenkins is a good player and is having another impressive season. But he’s not the equal of Robinson, Sullinger or McDermott. Not yet.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
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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’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
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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?