Donte' Grantham, Nequan Carrington

Donte Grantham headlines the uncommitted 2013 players at Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest

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PITTSBURGH — Donte Grantham’s senior year has gone about as well as any high school kid could ask.

Playing for his hometown high school in Martinsburg, WV, Grantham not only was named the state’s Player of the Year, but he won a state title as well. The only thing left is to figure out whether or not he will play for his state university next season.

“I’m not sure right now,” Grantham said at the Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest. “I’m going to take the live period to make my decision.”

Grantham, a versatile, 6-foot-8 forward with three point range, is currently weighing a number of offers, including West Virginia. Head coach Bob Huggins was in Pittsburgh on Saturday watching his state’s most coveted recruit play very well for the DC Assault. Marshall, Cincinnati, Clemson, Wake Forest, Maryland, Xavier, Villanova and Georgetown are also on the chase for Grantham, who is one of the best recruits left in the class.

Only Grantham isn’t sure whether he’s going to head to college this fall, or instead enroll in prep school for a year.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Grantham said. “Me and my mom still need to talk about it. If I stay in 2014, it will be better for me. I can get stronger and smarter as a player.”

But if he goes to college this fall, there will likely be playing time for him available immediately. West Virginia is coming off of a year where they finished with a losing record, and earlier this month the Mountaineers had three players announce that they would be transferring out of the program.

“I think every kid grows up wanting to play for their state school,” Grantham said earlier this month. West Virginia fans are hoping that will be enough to earn a commitment sooner rather than later.


Grantham wasn’t the only member of the Class of 2013 looking to earn a scholarship offer at the Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest this weekend:

– Mike Tucker, an athletic, 6-foot-6 forward from Covington, GA, played well for the Atlanta Xpress this weekend. He decommitted from Bradley last week after his father had a heart attack, saying he wanted to go to school closer to home. Tennessee has shown some interest since he reopened his recruitment, but Tucker said that Georgia is his dream school.

– Galvin Robinson, a Memphis native and Mitchell HS (TN) product, had an up and down weekend, but he played excellent in Team Thad’s win over DC Assault’s Farrington team. The bouncy, 6-foot-6 Robinson finished with 19 points and a number of rebounders, blocking three shots at the rim while also showing off three-point range. Georgia State and Texas State are the only Division I schools currently showing interest.

– Isaac Fleming is a tough, left-handed point guard Virginia that played well this weekend for Team Loaded. He currently holds offers from St. Francis (PA) and Radford, but the Class of 2013 product is attracting some interest from bigger programs, saying that Xavier, Cincinnati and DePaul have seen him workout.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

No. 10 Gonzaga outlasts No. 18 UConn despite late offensive struggles

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No. 10 Gonzaga survived a furious rally from No. 18 UConn to win the third place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis, 73-70.

The Zags were up by as much as 21 points early in the second half, leading 48-27, but UConn slowly chipped away at the lead. Kyle Wiltjer led four players in double-figures with 17 points while Eric McClellan added 15 points, making a number of key plays in the second half when it looked like the Zags were in danger of giving away the lead.

As good as Gonzaga looked in the first 22 minutes of this game — and they looked really, really good — the second half exposed the concerns that many had with this group entering the season. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., who both shot around 40 percent from beyond the arc and started for four years, graduated, meaning that Gonzaga’s point guard situation is, more or less, Josh Perkins.

Perkins was terrific in the second half of a loss to Texas A&M on Thursday. He played 17 foul-plagued minutes against UConn. When UConn’s defense ratcheted up during the second half, Gonzaga struggled finding a way to consistently get good shots on the offensive end. Part of that was due to ineffective point guard play and part of it was a result of not really having anyone on the offensive end that can create a look on their own. As skilled as Wiltjer is, his impact can be limited when pick-and-pop actions aren’t working and he’s getting doubled in the post.

Perkins is talented, but this is essentially his first season of college basketball; he was a medical redshirt last season after breaking his jaw last November. There are going to be ups-and-downs, and that’s problematic on a team where he is essentially the only point guard on the roster.

The good news?

Gonzaga beat a good UConn team on a day when their best players struggled in crunch-time. It was McClellan and Kyle Dranginis that made the big plays down the stretch, not the big names on the Gonzaga roster.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady ‘awake, alert’ after getting stretchered off court

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Wichita State big man Anton Grady was stretchered off of the floor in the second half of a loss to Alabama after a nasty collision with Dazon Ingram.

The video can be seen above. There was nothing malicious about the way that Grady was injured. When he turned to run up the floor after missing a shot in the lane, he went face first into Ingram’s shoulder. He neck bent in an awkward directions and, after stumbling a few steps, he laid motionless on the floor.

It took 10 minutes for the training staff to strap Grady to a backboard and wheel him out of the arena.

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A Wichita State spokesman told that Grady was taken to a local trauma center for evaluation and that he is “awake, alert and is answering questions appropriately”.

We will have more updates as they come available.

From a basketball perspective, the No. 20 Shockers lost their second game in a row and are now 2-3 on the season.

While for some the Shockers’ résumé is up for questioning following losses to USC and Alabama, two teams projected to finish in the bottom half of their respective leagues, the team’s health is the biggest concern.

Fred VanVleet has been dealing with a hamstring issue since the season began, and an ankle injury limited him in a loss at Tulsa earlier this month. He won’t play again until at least Dec. 5th. and who knows when he’ll be back to full strength. The same can be said for back up point guard and freshman Landry Shamet, who underwent surgery to address a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Their injuries have led to even more being asked of senior guard Ron Baker, and the loss of Grady for any significant amount of time certainly isn’t going to help matters..

These early-season losses won’t help Wichita State when it comes to the NCAA tournament, but it’s important to make note of the circumstances surrounding those defeats. To be shorthanded, with one of the absent players ranking among the nation’s best point guards, has an impact that has to be accounted for when evaluating Wichita State. The Shockers will add Conner Frankamp in mid-December, which will help them on the perimeter.

But with their rotation currently being in flux, it’s tough to make any definitive statements on what Wichita State will have to do in order to make another trip to the NCAA tournament. At this point Gregg Marshall and his staff will look for other contributors, one of whom being Markis McDuffie (14 points, seven rebounds vs. Alabama), to emerge and show themselves capable of picking up the slack.