Robert Morris v Arkansas

Wake Forest announces addition of former Robert Morris guard Coron Williams

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With leading scorer C.J. Harris out of eligibility, Wake Forest was in need of a solid perimeter shooter as they look to improve their standing within an ACC that becomes tougher due to the arrival of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

On Wednesday afternoon the program announced the addition of former Robert Morris guard Coron Williams, a graduate student who will be eligible to play for the Demon Deacons immediately.

Williams averaged 9.1 points per game as a redshirt junior last season, but it’s also important to take note of his three-point shooting when considering where he’ll fit into the Wake Forest rotation.

Just two Demon Deacons shot better than 40% from beyond the arc last season: Harris (43.1%) and Chase Fischer (42.2%), and as a team Wake Forest shot 34.5% from deep (8th in the ACC). Last season Williams connected on 41.6% of his shots from distance, and for his career the Midlothian, Va. native is a 42.2% three-point shooter.

“We are excited to welcome Coron to the Wake Forest basketball family,” said head coach Jeff Bzdelik in the school release. “He combines athleticism with an excellent long range shooting ability. Coron’s maturity and leadership will be a great asset to our team next season.

“We are all looking forward to having him join our program.”

Williams joins a roster led by forwards Travis McKie (13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Devin Thomas (9.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and guard Codi Miller-McIntyre (8.1 ppg, 2.6 apg), with the hope being that his shooting will not only help Wake Forest manage the departure of Harris but also relieve some of the pressure on McKie and Thomas.

“I think I can spread the court for this team with my shooting ability, coming off screens and moving to get open off penetration,” Williams stated in the release. “I can also bring some leadership and experience after playing four years of college basketball.”

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.