South Carolina adds commitments from Thaddeus Hall and Minda Kacinas

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It didn’t take long for Frank Martin to start settling in and making an impact at South Carolina.

On Thursday night, Martin landed a pair of commitments that will set his tenure in the SEC in motion, grabbing verbals from Thomas Jefferson (N.Y.) swingman Thaddeus Hall and Lithuanian forward Minda Kacinas.

Hall’s commitment was first reported by the New York Post, and comes after he considered Maryland, St. John’s, and Hofstra.

“They came to my school, they kept in contact with me, they talked to my mom – they did everything it took to get me,” Hall told The Post. “It feels great. I’m going to play SEC basketball and that’s one of the top conferences in the country.”

He is reportedly working in the classroom to put himself in the best position to qualify in the fall.

Kacinas, a 6-8 forward from Lithuania who committed while on a visit to South Carolina, reportedly signed his letter of intent as well.

He attends Word of Life (Kan.), a team that went 28-5 on the year, while he averaged 26 points and 15 rebounds per game.

Head coach Frank Martin recruited both players during his time at Kansas State and made the two top priorities when he moved to South Carolina.

The Gamecocks finished 10-21 this past season under now-departed coach Darrin Horn, including 2-14 in the SEC.

Kansas State advanced to the Round of 32 under Martin in 2011-12.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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?