The last time Anthony Davis played in New Orleans, he won Most Outstanding Player after leading Kentucky to its eighth national title.
So maybe he won’t mind going back.
The New Orleans Hornets won the NBA draft lottery Wednesday night, claiming the No. 1 overall pick in 2012. They’ll almost certainly draft Davis, the national player of the year and the consensus top player available. It’ll help ease the rough transition from the Chris Paul era into one that’ll feature the most promising defenders to enter the NBA since Greg Oden. (Not that Davis is Oden. Fingers crossed. Now I feel badly for even associating Davis with Oden, the man with the worst knees in NBA history.)
Davis joins a roster without much pop – Paul solved so many of their problems – but with a strong scoring guard in Eric Gordon and hustle guys in Chris Kaman, Carl Landry and Trevor Ariza.
Hmmm. Good luck, Anthony.
After New Orleans, the order goes like this:
2. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Washington Wizards
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Sacramento Kings
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Nets)
7. Golden State Warriors
8. Toronto Raptors
9. Detroit Pistons
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota)
11. Portland Trail Blazers
12. Milwaukee Bucks
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
Apparently the Bobcats will be snagging Barnes (though at No. 2 or by trading down, I don’t know), which means the Wiz could give John Wall some instant help by taking either Bradley Beal or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Either would be better than what Washington has now.
Part of me is hoping Sacramento takes Andre Drummond and pairs him with DeMarcus Cousins to form a new version of the twin towers. Just one that would frustrate Kings fans to no end. That’d be amusing.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.