Texas' Kabongo battles for the ball with Cincinnati's Wright during their men's NCAA basketball game in Nashville

Texas point guard Myck Kabongo will travel to Maui but hasn’t been cleared to play

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According to a release sent out by the school Texas sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo has been cleared to travel with the team to Maui, where they will play in the Maui Invitational next week.

However the Toronto native still has not been cleared to play as a result of an ongoing investigation into how his expenses were paid for on a summer trip to Akron, Ohio for a workout.

While friend and former Findlay Prep teammate Tristan Thompson, a forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, came forward and admitted that he paid for Kabongo’s expenses the NCAA is looking into a relationship between Kabongo and agent Rich Paul.

Thompson stated that Kabongo’s brother reimbursed him for the payment of Kabongo’s expenses for that trip to Akron.

“Did I pay for him? Well, yes and no,” Thompson said. ”You know, I actually had to pay for it and then had his brother reimburse me, which is totally fine with the NCAA, we discussed that. Again, we want to respect the process. I think everything’s going to work out. I don’t see no eligibility issues, but that’s for the NCAA to work out.”

With Kabongo sidelined the first two games Texas head coach Rick Barnes handed the keys to the offense to freshman Javan Felix, one of three freshmen to start for the 2-0 Longhorns.

In two games Felix has struggled with his shooting, going 5-of-18 from the field in wins over Fresno State and Coppin State. In the 55-53 win over Fresno State, Felix finished with ten points, nine rebounds and an assist but while failing to score in the win over Coppin State he dished out nine assists.

Over the course of two games the New Orleans native has tallied ten assists and 11 turnovers with an average of 35.5 minutes per contest.

Offensively for the Longhorns it’s been sophomore Sheldon McClellan leading the way, as he’s the lone player averaging double figures (22.5 ppg) while shooting 50% from the field. Six players are averaging between 5.0 and 7.5 points per game, with freshman forward Ioannis Papepetrou averaging 7.5 points and 8.0 rebounds.

Texas’ first game in Maui is against host Chaminade and while the Silverswords have pulled off a few upsets throughout the history of the event, it’s unlikely that Texas would be in serious trouble if Kabongo was forced to sit that one out.

Take care of Chaminade and the Longhorns would face either Illinois or USC in the semifinals.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.