Several members of Arizona had decisions to make regarding their future following a season that ended with an appearance in the Elite 8.
While Kaleb Tarczewski, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley announced they would all return to school, giving the Wildcats another talented front court next season, starters Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.
For the 6-foot-9 Gordon this had been an expected since he arrived on campus as one of the more talked about freshmen in the country. In his lone collegiate season, Gordon averaged 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks per game. He is projected as the No. 8 overall pick according to DraftExpress.com.
MORE: The entire list of players entering the 2014 NBA Draft
Johnson will forgo his senior season after being named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and a second team All-American, leading Arizona in scoring at 16.3 points in addition to his 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Despite his success this season and improvement made in his career, Johnson is on the outside looking in as far as the first round is concerned. He’s currently projected as the No. 48 overall pick by Draft Express.
“He’s made a meteoric improvement across the board in his time at Arizona, and that stems from his unbelievable attitude. Nick, his family and our staff came together and we think it’s appropriate that he moves on to the next level,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said on Tuesday. “When you’re a first-team All-American, it speaks volumes to your talent. He leaves Arizona with my complete support and I have no doubt that he’s going to be successful at the next level.”
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?