(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)
Before the 2012-13 season began many expected Saint Joseph’s at the very least to be one of the Philadelphia schools playing in the NCAA tournament. But thanks to inconsistent play and various personnel issues Phil Martelli’s team failed to live up to the expectations, ending their season with a loss to St. John’s in the first round of the Postseason NIT.
And it hasn’t taken long for one player to determine that he’s ready to leave Hawk Hill, as 6-9 junior forward C.J. Aiken will reportedly pursue professional opportunities.
In 31 games this season Aiken averaged 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, shooting 49.6% from the field.
“After lengthy meetings with C.J. Aiken and his family, C.J. has decided to pursue a career in professional basketball,” coach Phil Martelli said in a statement. “There will always be a place in my heart for C.J. I wish him well in all his future endeavors.”
Aiken is ranked 66th among NCAA juniors according to DraftExpress.com, and there’s a great deal of work to be done when it comes to his strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.
In regards to next season Saint Joseph’s is expected to return Ronald Roberts Jr. and Halil Kancevic, with both being seniors in 2013-14. Aiken’s departure opens the door for rising junior Papa Ndao, who averaged just 6.9 minutes per game this season, to possibly earn more playing time.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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 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?