Travis McKie, Julian Royal

Former Georgia Tech forward Julian Royal transferring to George Mason

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6-8 forward Julian Royal committed to attend Georgia Tech while Paul Hewitt was the head coach, only to never play for the man who recruiting him with Hewitt taking over at George Mason after being fired by the ACC school.

After two seasons in Atlanta Royal will get the opportunity to play for Hewitt, as it was reported by Mason Recruiting that Royal has decided to transfer to George Mason. Vanderbilt was also in the running for Royal’s services.

In two seasons at Georgia Tech, Royal averaged 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in just under 12 minutes of action per contest.

As a sophomore Royal’s playing time dropped by nearly ten minutes per game (6.6 mpg), and he averaged just 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.

Originally Royal, considered to be a Top 100 recruit out of high school, committed to attend Georgia but flipped to Georgia Tech thanks in large part to Hewitt.

Royal will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2013-14 campaign, and his arrival helps a George Mason program that will need to replace power forwards Jonathan Arledge and Johnny Williams after their debut season in the Atlantic 10.

Over-hyped or just under-utilized, Royal will now have a year to work on his game and get better. After losing both Jonathan Arledge and Johnny Williams after this upcoming season, bringing in Royal to fill the void will help ease the transition of breaking in the 2014 recruiting class. The Patriots will have a lot of new faces on the roster at that point and it will be a huge bonus to plug in a veteran forward.

In addition to Royal, George Mason should have veterans Anali Okoloji and Eric Copes in the front court in 2014-15.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
AP Photo
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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?


Michigan State’s Tum Tum Nairn battling foot injury

Lourawls Nairn Jr.
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Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.

According to a report from Kyle Austin of, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.

The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.

If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.

Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.