Former Oregon PG continues transition to the gridiron

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In four years as a point guard at Oregon, Johnathon Loyd averaged 5.0 points and 3.2 assists per game and was a member of two NCAA tournament teams. And after his college career came to an end with Oregon’s loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament, Loyd made the decision to return to the football field for his final year of eligibility. NCAA rules allow athletes to play a different sport in their fifth year if they’ve used up their eligibility in another, and Loyd’s taken advantage.

But this isn’t a story of a “token” participant just happy to get a uniform and a locker. Loyd, who hasn’t played football since high school, was curious as to whether or not he had what it takes to compete at a high level. There was rust to deal with during spring practice, something both Loyd and head coach Mark Helfrich acknowledged in a story written by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press.

“The guy had a great attitude in the spring — but you could tell he hadn’t played football for five years,” coach Mark Helfrich said. “It’s not like he’s showing up and playing intramural flag football. He’s playing elite-level Division I football. There’s rust. There’s uncertainty.”

Loyd admits it was a weird adjustment.

“When I first started in the spring I was still in basketball mode. I came off the line and wasn’t going as hard as I could, trying to find my way. That kind of hurt me, I think,” he said. “But I’m out of that now.”

Loyd isn’t the first Duck to spend time playing both sports, with former Oregon Duck Jordan Kent playing three sports (basketball, football and track) during his four years on campus. As a senior Kent, the son of former Oregon head basketball coach Ernie Kent, started 12 games and caught 44 passes and that was his second season as a member of the football program (he played in three games as a junior).

With this being Loyd’s first season it’s tough to see him having that kind of an impact, especially when considering the fact that Oregon enters the season ranked third in the preseason coaches’ poll. Yet Loyd will continue to work hard in hopes of getting a chance to help Helfrich’s Ducks in game action.

h/t Matt Norlander

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?