Last week, we posted a picture of the cover of the new Sports Illustrated, which featured all-world freshman Andrew Wiggins.
It was a big deal, as Wiggins was the cover boy during what is arguably the busiest time of the year for sports fans.
The article itself, which is now available to read online, was written by Luke Winn and was a terrific read about the three once-in-a-generation talents that have come through Lawrence: Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning and now Wiggins.
There are plenty of juicy details in the book about the recruitment of Chamberlain and Manning, which makes it quite evident that even in the 1950’s, athletes had enough value to a community to see their pockets gets line. Chamberlain at one point helped wave cars into an alumni parking lot during football games, where he would pocket hundreds of dollars in “tips”.
The best anecdote, however, comes from Bill Self. He was able to land a visit from Wiggins on the day that the Jayhawks hosted Texas Tech, and he tailored his game-plan to impress the recruit:
The Wigginses sat behind KU’s bench for a 79–42 blowout of Texas Tech, and it was no coincidence that the game plan was heavy on ball screens and lobs, with point guard Elijah Johnson throwing six alley-oops in the first half. Says Self, “We did the things that gave us the best chance to win and were along the lines of what the family would like to see.”
To some, that may seem ridiculous. Wouldn’t it be more important for the recruit to see you win than to risk a loss playing the style he wants to see? Keep in mind: Kansas was playing Texas Tech at the Phog. They could have let me out there to handle the point and it probably would have worked out OK.
What’s neat, however, is that you’re getting a glimpse of just how hard these coaches go after the recruits they’re targetting.
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?