Montgomery County Ballard Basketball

2014 point guard Quentin Snider flips back to Louisville

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For those who follow recruiting, the recruitment of point guard Quentin Snider’s been an interesting saga to follow over the last 24 hours or so. Originally a verbal commitment to Louisville, the Ballard HS product de-committed from his hometown school in late-July and less than two months later committed to attend Illinois.

At the time of Snider’s decision to reopen his recruitment it was reported that Louisville had moved on, seemingly closing the door on a reconnection. But recruiting can be a funny thing, with reports emerging this week that Snider and the program were back in contact. And on Friday the news more than a few expected (and many Illinois fans feared) came to fruition, as Snider signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Louisville.

The news was first reported by Evan Daniels of And the fact that Louisville’s backcourt situation cleared up some since Snider made the decision to de-commit may have helped with the reconnection, according to Steve Jones of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

He withdrew that pledge late this summer after determining the Cards’ backcourt looked too loaded, with 2013 signees Chris Jones, Anton Gill and Terry Rozier and five-star 2014 commitments Shaqquan Aaron and JaQuan Lyle.

But Lyle withdrew his own pledge from Louisville after Snider had made his new commitment to Illinois, and the Cards have attempted to recruit new guards, including James Blackmon Jr. and junior-college prospects Sam Cassell Jr. and Josh Gray.

Snider becomes Louisville’s fourth commitment in the 2014 class, joining wing Shaqquan Aaron and interior prospects Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku. All four players have signed National Letter of Intent during the early signing period, which began on Wednesday and end on November 20th. The Cardinals will certainly lose Russ Smith after this season, and Snider’s signing gives Rick Pitino another talented option at the point in Louisville’s debut season in the ACC.

Junior college transfer Chris Jones would be a senior (and should he play well enough to move on the next level, Snider’s addition will become even more important), and Terry Rozier would be a sophomore. Other guards with eligibility remaining are current juniors Wayne Blackshear, Kevin Ware and freshman Anton Gill.

Snider’s the second elite player this fall to re-commit to a school after reopening his recruitment, with James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana) being the first. And when it comes to top players making a switch this week, Snider joins power forward Payton Dastrup (from Ohio State to BYU) as players who have done so.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.