Michigan v Ohio State

Derrick Walton sparks No. 15 Michigan’s come-from-behind win over No. 22 Ohio State

Leave a comment

source: Getty Images

For the first time since 2003, No. 15 Michigan went into Columbus and left with a win on the hardwood, knocking off No. 22 Ohio State, 70-60.

The box score may say that he shot just 3-for-10 from the floor, but rest assured when I tell you that it was freshman point guard Derrick Walton that made all the difference for the Wolverines.

He finished with 13 points, 10 boards and six assists while committing just a single turnover against the nation’s best defensive back court in Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott. All 13 of his points, and three of his assists, came in the second half as Walton made big play after big play down the stretch.

The game changed during a 20-7 surge in the second half that turned a 38-31 deficit into a 51-45 lead, and Walton was responsible for 12 of those 20 points. He came up with two huge rebounds late in the game, and even out-battled Craft on a loose ball, earning possession for Michigan when a foul was called on Craft.

Walton is not Trey Burke yet.

Not even close.

But he’s maturing. The game is slowing down for him. He’s beginning to get a feel for what his coaches are asking of him. He’s slowly been getting better throughout league play, but this was without a doubt his most impressive performance of the season. Part of that is due to the competition that he was going up against in Scott and Craft. Part of it is the composure that he showed when the Buckeyes built their lead, which was as large as 10 in the first half.

More than anything, however, it’s that he helped turn things around for the Wolverines in a crucial moment.

This was an important game for John Beilein’s club. A loss would have dropped them a game behind Michigan State in the Big Ten standings with Wisconsin and the Spartans coming up in their next two games. They were coming off of a blowout loss to Iowa, which came six days after losing at Indiana, and had dug themselves a double-digit hole early on. Throw in the fact that the secret to slowing down Nik Stauskas had been discovered — guarding him tight with little guards he can’t beat off the dribble or shake coming off of a screen — and the Wolverines were staring a freefall straight in the face.

Until Walton changed the complexion of the game on Tuesday night.

Momentum and confidence are so important for a basketball team.

Walton’s second half ensured that the Wolverines are trending in the right direction heading into the season’s stretch run.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
AP Photo
1 Comment

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
AP Photo
Leave a comment

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?