Kentucky Basketball News Conference

NBA’s sure thing is Team USA’s “long shot”

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Getting the number one pick in a professional sports draft is great, assuming there’s an obvious pick to be made. It can be terrible if you’re – for the sake of example – the 2007 Portland Trailblazers, or, for that matter, the 1984 Portland Trailblazers.

For the New Orleans Hornets, the No. 1 pick in the NBA is — please pardon the rather on-the-nose phraseology here — a slam dunk. They’ll take Anthony Davis from the Kentucky Wildcats and never look back. Even if Davis somehow ends up being a bust, there’s no sure-fire talent behind him in the rankings that is likely to make them look foolish in any case. They have the virtue of iron-clad certitude.

Davis is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime talent, and the Wildcats needed every ounce of his ability to win a national title. So are we getting a little ahead of ourselves if we expect him to be an immediate All-Star selection? Perhaps. Jerry Colangelo, the man tasked with filling out the hoops roster for the impending 2012 Olympics, recently called Davis a “long shot” to make Team USA.

Not that he’s ruling it out completely, mind you. Colangelo is intrigued by Davis’ defensive potential on a team that would love to finish any break started by a big defensive play:

“We don’t have any shortage of scorers,” Colangelo told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Anthony has a chance to make his mark sooner rather than later just by rebounding, defending, getting up and down the court, being a team player. He doesn’t have to score.”

Whether Davis is an Olympian or not, he’s getting a jump start on his NBA career by facing his future peers as a team invitee. Davis is already a consensus number one pick, but he can still benefit from early exposure to the pro post game. The last player to improve his NBA credibility by trying out for the Olympic team was none other than current NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He thinks Anthony Davis can afford to buy his own plane ticket to London this summer.

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?