Dana Altman

Lawyers for former Oregon players, their accuser release statements

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Tuesday night turned into a battle of the lawyer statement for the three former Oregon basketball players accused of sexual assault and their accuser.

It started with the lawyers for Dominic Artis, Brandon Austin and Damyean Dotson releasing a 1,508 word joint statement in response the Oregon’s decision to suspend all three former players for four-to-ten years, depending on how long their accuser remains a student at the school. The players were kicked off the basketball team back in May.

If you would like to read the entire statement from the three players, the Oregonian has published it here.

In essence, it’s a step-by-step breakdown of why no legal action was taken against three players and how it’s unfair that they are now viewed as guilty in the court of public opinion despite never even being charged with a crime. For example:

We support firm policies against sexual violence. We want all students on campus to feel safe in their learning environment. But in the rush to judgment in the matter of these three young men, justice was not served. The process the University uses to investigate must include safeguards so that the accused are treated with fairness and impartiality. The points we have made illustrate just some of the many problems within the current system. Problems we hope the University will address as they undertake to re-examine and overhaul their procedures.

John Clune, who represents the accuser, responded with a statement of his own:

This is a pretty poorly spun version of the night in question which noticeably omits all of the facts that incriminated their clients. The description doesn’t mention that two of the three men admitted in police recorded phone calls that what they did to the victim that night was wrong with one of the men calling their behavior “very inappropriate and not something he would want to happen to his mother or sister”. The third man who refused to give a statement is facing his second sexual assault allegation in the past year.
I can’t blame the lawyers though as they are just trying to help their clients explain some pretty ugly behavior that has gotten a lot of press.

PREVIOUSLY: Dana Altman deserves to be fired

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.