Russ Smith, Vincent Garrett

Green Bay announces addition Rutgers transfer Vincent Garrett

Leave a comment

Forward Vincent Garrett was one of four players to announce his intention to transfer from Rutgers in the midst of the program’s tumultuous spring that included the firing of a head coach and the athletic director tendering his resignation.

On Tuesday it was announced that Garrett will transfer to Green Bay, with the school considering the possibility of applying for a hardship waiver that would make the 6-5 Garrett eligible immediately.

If the appeal is unsuccessful Garrett would have to sit out the 2013-14 season, using his one remaining season of eligibility in 2014-15. Garrett’s decision to transfer to Green Bay reunites the Chicago native with former high school teammates Keifer Sykes and Alfonzo McKinnie (Marshall HS).

“As soon as Keifer heard I was transferring he told Coach Wardle about me and when I visited Green Bay I really appreciated how honest and straight-forward coach was with me about everything,” Garrett said in a statement released by the school.

“I really like the team’s fast style of play and I can see myself fitting in great with the guys. I’m a very athletic guy who can run the floor and can score the ball well, but most of all I’m just looking to help my team win.”

Garrett played in just 12 games in his one season at Rutgers, posting averages of 1.5 points and 0.8 rebounds in four minutes of action per contest. Garrett’s best outing came in the Scarlet Knights’ second game of the season, when he scored six points and grabbed four rebounds (11 minutes) in an 88-62 victory over Sacred Heart.

Prior to joining the Rutgers program Garrett played two years at Lee Junior College in Texas. If eligible to play this season, Garrett will give the Phoenix another front court body to go along with the likes of McKinnie, second team All-Horizon League selection Alec Brown and Greg Mays.

Green Bay also has incoming freshmen Turner Botz and Kenneth Lowe joining the program this summer.

Raphielle 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
Leave a comment

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.
Leave a comment

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.