Jerian Grant (AP Photo)

Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant will not play the rest of the season


On Sunday evening, Notre Dame senior guard Jerian Grant released a statement announcing that he will not be a part of the Irish basketball team for the rest of the 2013-2014 season.

“It is with regret and sorrow that I inform you that I am no longer enrolled at the University of Notre Dame due to an academic matter that I did not handle properly,” Grant wrote in a letter addressed to the Notre Dame community. “As a result, I am no longer part of the basketball program and will not be on the court competing with my teammates for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.”

“I take full responsibility for my lack of good judgment and the poor decision that I made. I have no one to blame but myself for the situation. I know and understand the expectations that go with being a student at Notre Dame and I did not live up to those standards.”

Grant, an all-ACC caliber talent, was averaging 19.0 points on the season, but Notre Dame was sputtering a bit this season. They had lost to Indiana State and North Dakota State and home and suffered a demoralizing collapse in a 64-61 loss to No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday night.

Grant is listed as a senior by Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish are one of the only schools that list their athletes by academic year. Grant redshirted his first season in South Bend, meaning that he still has one more year of eligibility remaining.

“It is my full intention to return to Notre Dame as soon as possible following the 2014 spring semester,” Grant wrote. “I intend to do whatever it takes to earn my degree and finish out my college basketball career here. I understand that there is a process that I must go through in order to come back to school and I will be patient with that process.”

Notre Dame was expected to be a contender in the ACC this season, and despite losing on Saturday, they finally looked like they were coming together and figuring out how to play with a smaller lineup. Losing Grant is a killer blow, but it’s not a season-ender. Mike Brey is going to need freshman Demetrius Jackson to take on a larger role, and it may be beneficial to smooth things over with Cameron Biedscheid and take away his redshirt.

Notre Dame will still have a chance to make the NCAA tournament.

“I have established myself as a leader on the basketball team and this situation significantly impacts my teammates and coaches,” Grant wrote. “They have been such an integral part of my life since coming to Notre Dame. I was looking forward to being in the lineup when our team started play in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I apologize to them publicly and regret that I will not be there with and for them in the upcoming months, but I am confident that they will have great success for the remainder of the season.”

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.