Jae Crowder

Top 200 most valuable players in the country


Over the summer, a blogger named John Pudner — who does his work over at the Marquette blog Cracked Sidewalks — came up with a new metric that he termed “Value Add“. For those that are statistically-inclined, you can find the precise breakdown of what exactly “Value Add” means and how it is determined, but, essentially, it is the college basketball equivalent to the baseball’s Wins Over Replacement (WAR). in layman’s (read: NBC Blogger’s) terms, it is a stat to determine how much better a team is with a given player on the court instead of a regular Joe Schlub.

The post got plenty play over the summer and was embraced by the mainstream King of the Stat Geeks himself, Luke Winn. Yesterday morning, Pudner finally ran the numbers for this season and gave us the 200 most valuable players in the country.

And it should come as no surprise that Kentucky’s Anthony Davis checked in at No. 1.

What did come as a surprise, however, was the rest of the list.

I’ve been touting the play of Jae Crowder for a long time, and I haven’t been alone. He’s as well-rounded as any player in the country, and it shows. Crowder is the second-most valuable player in the country. He’s followed by West Virginia’s Kevin Jones, Damian Lillard of Weber State and Cody Zeller of Indiana.

Jordan Taylor, who was the nation’s most valuable player in 2011, is sixth while Player of the Year favorite, Thomas Robinson, checks in at seventh. Jared Sullinger is eight while John Shurna and Aaron Craft round out the top ten.

After the top ten is where the numbers start to get a little weird. Like, for example, how Shabazz Napier is the 11th most valuable player in the country, nearly 30 spots ahead of Mike Moser and Isaiah Canaan? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is all the way down at 61st?

I’m not going to nitpick at the numbers too much. This really is some terrific work by Pudner and our friends over at Cracked Sidewalks. And who knows, maybe Shabazz Napier actually is more valuable to UConn than Kidd-Gilchrist is to Kentucky.

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?