Sean Miller

Is the new schedule for July’s evaluation periods too much of a grind?

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This July marks the second year of the NCAA’s new schedule regarding the summer’s live-recruiting period.

In the past, there have two two ten-day evaluation periods in July, with a week and a half in between them. The new rules lessen the number of days that coaches can be on the road recruiting, but they are now broken up into three five-day live periods in consecutive weeks. Starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, coaches are allowed in the gym at summer events evaluating, getting a full 96 hours of access before they are kicked out at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Lather, rinse, repeat, for three straight weeks.

On the surface, this seems like a great idea.

The kids spend five straight days on the road instead of ten, and coaches are only allowed to be in the gym for 96 hours.

In reality, however, the new rules have made July that much more grueling. Think about it like this: instead of grinding for 10 days and getting more than a week to get their legs back and recover from any nagging injuries, these athletes travel home on Sunday night or Monday morning just to head back out on the road on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Pretend you are Stanley Johnson, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2014 from California. You just spent the last five days in Georgia playing in the Peach Jam. You have to fly all the way back to California to spend less than two days at home before making the trip to Washington DC to play in the Nike Global Challenge. That’s exhausting. Now, Johnson is talented enough that is doesn’t really matter how tired his legs are; he’s going to be able to go to any school that he wants. What about the players that aren’t known commodities like that? Will they lose out on a chance to earn a scholarship because their legs gave out this month?

Another example? Stephen Zimmermann, who some believe is the top recruit in the Class of 2015, spent the last six days in Indianapolis for the Adidas Invitational and he’ll be spending the next seven days in Milwaukee for the Under Armour Summer Jam. At least he’s lucky enough to be from Las Vegas, so he can spend the last period playing ‘home games’.

There may eventually be enough force behind this opinion to get the rule changed, and it will likely happen sooner or later if more coaches with the name cache of Arizona’s Sean Miller speak out:

I’d encourage you to read through all of Miller’s twitter feed, as he spent a couple of hours this morning ranting. It’s one of the beauties or social media; you get a glimpse into issues that bother college coaches in realtime.

Who knows if this rule will eventually be changed and what the new setup will look like, but the one thing that most people seem to agree upon is that this is not the best possible model.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.

According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.

The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.

Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.

The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.

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

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
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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?