Prior to Oklahoma’s summer trip to Europe it was announced that sophomore guard Buddy Hield would not play due to an issue with his right foot. A flare-up in the foot, which Hield injured back in February, led to head coach Lon Kruger and his staff deciding to hold Hield out of game action as a precautionary measure.
Unfortunately for the Sooners Hield isn’t the only player on the roster dealing with foot issues, as it was announced Wednesday that sophomore Je’lon Hornbeak underwent surgery on his right foot to repair a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal.
With the stated timeframe of 6-8 weeks there’s the question of whether or not Hornbeak, who averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game as a freshman. His best offensive outing of the 2012-13 season came in Oklahoma’s 77-70 win over West Virginia at the Old Spice Classic in November, scoring 14 points (5-9 FG) and grabbing five rebounds.
With forwards Amath M’baye and Romero Osby no longer in the program, players such as Hornbeak, Hield, fellow guard Isaiah Cousins and wing Cameron Clark (led the Sooners in scoring in four of their five games in Belgium and France) will be asked to do more as Oklahoma looks to make a second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
Hornbeak played in all five of the Sooners’ games on their European trip, reaching double figures in each of the games. Hornbeak scored 16 points in Oklahoma’s 84-66 win over Belgian semipro team Waregem, the Sooners’ second game of the trip. Oklahoma returned home with a 4-1 record, losing the finale.
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?