With its top three scorers from last season all deciding to return for the 2013-14 season, Oklahoma State’s offseason was already off to a good start.
On Sunday evening things got even better for head coach Travis Ford and his staff, as 6-5 shooting guard Austin Grandstaff (Plano, Tex.) verbally committed to attend the school.
Grandstaff, a member of the Class of 2015, announced his decision to attend Oklahoma State via Twitter.
Grandstaff has visited Oklahoma State on two separate occasions, and he informed Ford of his decision after a trip to Stillwater this weekend. In an interview with Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Grandstaff cited his relationship with Ford, the system and the facilities as two reasons for his decision.
Widely considered to be one of the top shooting guards in the 2015 class, Grandstaff averaged 12.2 points per game for Team Texas Elite during Nike EYBL play this spring. Grandstaff played the first half of this past high school season at Rockwall (Tex.) High before transferring to Huntington Prep. Homesickness would lead to Grandstaff making the move back to Texas, attending Shepton High School for the remainder of the school year.
Given the potential losses Oklahoma State could suffer on the perimeter after the 2013-14 campaign (Markel Brown’s a senior and Marcus Smart could be a lottery selection), coach Ford and his staff can certainly use the additional bodies.
Grandstaff won’t be a member of the program for another two years, but his commitment is certainly a positive development for Oklahoma State.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.