After going through his first season at Mississippi State with a thin roster, things are starting to look up for head coach Rick Ray.
The Bulldogs have four verbal commitment in the 2014 recruiting class and two more in 2015, and the program received more good news regarding the status of 6-11 center Fallou Ndoye. After originally fearing that Ndoye wouldn’t be cleared to join the program, the school announced Friday that the NCAA has been ruled to be a partial qualifier.
Ndoye won’t be able to help the Bulldogs in games, but his status as a partial qualifier allows the Findlay Prep product to not only practice with the team but also receive an athletic scholarship. Ndoye, who averaged seven points and seven rebounds per game on a team that went 35-1 last season, will be allowed to play in games at the start of the 2014-15 season.
“The NCAA Eligibility Center did the right thing by granting Fallou this waiver,” coach Ray said in the release. “All the young man has ever done is successfully complete the course work at his schools.
“Our compliance department did a terrific job in presenting this case to the NCAA and staying on top of the situation. This upcoming season will be extremely beneficial for Fallou’s development.”
Ndoye’s development in 2012-13 will include daily practice sessions against fellow big men Colin Borchert, Wendell Lewis and Gavin Ware, with Lewis returning after playing just eight games due to a fractured right kneecap. Lewis’ injury meant that Ware was asked to a lot more in the paint for Mississippi State, and he responded to the tune of 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
For his efforts Ware was an SEC All-Freshman Team selection, as was guard Craig Sword (10.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.3 apg). Mississippi State may once again take their lumps in 2013-14, but with their numbers growing things are starting to look up in Starkville.
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 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?