Cleanthony Early

Wichita State continues to show toughness in 72-67 win over Alabama

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No. 11 Wichita State went on the road in Tuscaloosa to take on a quality Alabama program, led by senior point guard Travis Releford. In the first half Ron Baker, Cleanthony Early and Fred VanVleet all sat for much of the first half with foul trouble.

In the second half, Alabama took the lead on several occasions, but time and time again the Shockers quickly countered, and in the end they left with their 11th win in 11 games with a 72-67 victory over the Crimson Tide on Tuesday night.

Cleanthony Early, who started the game by taking the tip towards his own basket, elevating for a slam before realizing and correcting his mistake, led all scorers with 26 points off 11-of-11 from the line.

The Shockers entered this game knowing it was going to be a battle. The Crimson Tide have talent on that roster, their a quality SEC program. Alabama had 21 wins on Selection Sunday last March, but still did not get a bid in the NCAA tournament. What the Crimson Tide needed was a signature win, which they didn’t have. This season, Wichita State looked like a prime candidate for Alabama’s marquee non-conference win and the Tide threw everything it had at Gregg Marshall’s team, only to come up short.

For the Shockers this win continues to show its toughness as a team. The Shockers are sitting at a perfect 11-0 with road wins over both Alabama and Saint Louis, a neutral site win over BYU, in which they held the Cougars to a season-low 62 points, and last week knocked off another SEC program in Tennessee at home.

The Shockers were able to respond every time the Crimson Tide made a run at them, including the offensive rebound and layup by Darius Carter with under 40 seconds to go that put the lead to 69-66. Wichita State reduced the chance of a late-game comeback by connecting on 25-0f-27 from the line for the game.

Tuesday night was another good test for Wichita State, and once again the Shockers showed their talent, toughness and composure. It’s really hard to believe the Shockers will run the table, especially in the Missouri Valley Conference, but when the bracket is released on Selection Sunday, I wouldn’t want to see the Shockers on my side of it.

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?