Thursday, November 5, 2015

News On The Horizon 11/5/2015

The only Shocker preview you need to read--Shocker Hoops
Turns out, Anton Grady’s your huckleberry. That’s just his game.

The former Cleveland State big man has averaged 11.3 points, 7 boards, and 1.2 blocks on 50% shooting in his collegiate career. Last year, he posted career-high averages of 14.3 points, 7.9 boards, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. He notched a dozen double-doubles while getting to the foul stripe almost five times per game. And, he’s decided to transfer out West and play his final collegiate season at Wichita State. With that resume, he’s just what the Shockers need to balance out their guards and help lead a strong cast of supporting players. Grady just needs to do a better job of avoiding turnovers and especially foul trouble in order to make the jump from Horizon League to Top 10 contender. Luckily, he’s had the summer to grow comfortable in his new digs, and will be able to use the MVC conference season to truly establish his role in the offense.
Anton Grady brings old-man moves to Wichita State’s frontcourt from Cleveland--Wichita Eagle
Meet the 2015-16 Wichita State men’s basketball players--Wichita Eagle

Height: 6-8

Weight: 230

Class: Senior

Hometown (previous school): Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland State)

Key stats: Averaged 14.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks as a junior at Cleveland State.

His toolbox: Grady is expected to give the Shockers a veteran presence who can score in the lane, with a variety of crafty moves, and make jump shots. He is no longer a high-flyer, after three knee surgeries, so he relies on strength and experience.

While adjusting to WSU’s active defense is a challenge, Grady possesses the smarts and desire to play his role. He made the Horizon League’s All-Defensive team after blocking 47 shots and recording 51 steals last season.

A tendency to foul (14 games with four or more last season) could limit his production, but the Shockers enjoy depth in the lane. He shot 155 foul shots last season and made 100 (64.5 percent). Improvement there would raise his offensive efficiency

His fit: Grady made a good impression when he arrived in Wichita last spring, throwing himself into weights and conditioning and spending extra time in the gym working on his skills. He is fueled by a desire to play in the NCAA Tournament, a goal that eluded him at Cleveland State.

Grady could start at center or power forward, depending on how other players develop around him. Guarding smaller players, especially in the Missouri Valley Conference, who can shoot from the outside may test his agility. It appears WSU’s ideal lineup would feature Grady at power forward and Bush Wamukota or Shaq Morris at center, at least against bigger, more athletic teams.

WSU needed a big man. Grady wanted to win. Sounds a lot like Gabe Blair, a transfer from East Carolina who worked out well for the Shockers. Grady can join Blair and Malcolm Armstead as successful transfers from four-year programs.

His best moments: Grady recorded 11 double-doubles last season at Cleveland State, including 24 points and 10 rebounds at Milwaukee and 17 and 13 (plus four blocks) against Youngstown State.

▪ He scored a season-high 26 points in a Tournament loss to New Jersey Institute of Technology and grabbed 11 rebounds.

▪ As a freshman, Grady played two of his best games against Butler. He scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 13 minutes in the first meeting and played 37 minutes in the second, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

His best numbers: Grady is a career 49.5 percent shooter, a number that could increase with skilled scorers around him and Fred VanVleet gifting him easy baskets. It will not be easy for defenses to double-team Grady.

According to Ken Pomeroy’s advanced stats, he led the Horizon League in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage as a sophomore and finished third (offensive) and second (defensive) last season in conference games.

His Shocker comps: Grady may give the Shockers similar production to J.T. Durley, a 6-7 post player who scored with a soft touch and clever footwork. Durley earned All-MVC honors in 2011.

The final word

“He’s very serious about maximizing this year,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said in June. “He keeps saying, ‘I just want to win, I just want to win.’ He’s very diligent in terms of his focus and listening and trying to get better.”
Paul Suellentrop breaks down the Shocker men’s basketball team--Wichita Eagle
Windsor: MSU's Izzo has pieces to win it all this year--The Detroit Free Press
We also saw an old connection assert itself on a new stage.

A year ago, when former Valentine's former high school teammate Bryn Forbes transferred in from Cleveland State, he didn't possess the strength nor confidence to compete consistently at the Big Ten level. Forbes did get better as the season progressed and made important shots in the NCAA tournament.

The Forbes who played Wednesday night -- 15 pounds heavier and with a year of big-time college basketball on his resume -- revealed a potentially devastating shooter and shot maker. The 6-3 senior made seven threes, many of them because of Valentine passes.

Defense Strong in Detroit's 72-38 Exhibition Win Over

UIC Welcomes Lake Forest in Exhibition Action

Phoenix Update: November
Green Bay Set for Regular Season After Victory in Exhibition

Hot Shooting Sends Milwaukee Past Parkside,

Twenty teams to keep an eye on in 2015-16--Hoopville
Valparaiso: We debated LSU or Rhode Island as our last pick on this list, but went with the Crusaders, even as they are a trendy pick for a lot of preseason love. There’s no denying the ceiling for Valpo is fascinating. The team plays terrific defense and has good size inside and a shot-blocking presence in Vashil Fernandez, and the shorter shot clock could make the D even better. There’s also a go-to scorer (Alec Peters) who can score inside or out. If the players around him (see: Darien Walker, David Skara, etc.) make for a unit that is even a little more consistent offensively, the Crusaders could legitimately be a top 25 squad.
Preseason: Projected Conference Champions--Bracketville
Horizon – Valparaiso: The Crusaders are not only the clear pick, they are also capable of winning a game or two in March. Among a host of talent, they return Alec Peters, a Horizon Player-of-the-Year candidate.
Valparaiso basketball: Vashil Fernandez a man of letters,

Get to Know Melinda

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