After a four-day stay at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to be treated for high blood pressure and a stress disorder, embattled Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie returned to Lubbock on Friday afternoon according to KAMC-TV in Lubbock.
Gillispie left for Mayo after a wild couple of weeks in which there were nasty allegations in regards to his treatment of players and a heart attack (or stroke) scare.
And athletic director Kirby Hocutt prohibited him from having any contact with the men’s basketball program until the two met in regards to the current state of the program.
Gillispie’s return came as a surprise to Texas Tech administrators according to RedRaiderSports.com, and apparently Gillispie sent Hocutt a text message earlier in the day that led folks to believe that he would remain at the Mayo Clinic.
Multiple sources told RedRaiderSports.com that university officials were “shocked” to see Gillispie return after less than three full days at the Mayo Clinic. Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt received a text message from Gillispie at 2:35 p.m. Friday afternoon that stated he was still undergoing tests and waiting to meet with more doctors. University officials were not given any indication of Gillispie’s plans to leave the Mayo Clinic and were surprised by news reports that he had returned to Lubbock.
According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas Tech spokesperson Blayne Beal said that there was no word in regards to plans of Gillispie and Hocutt having a meeting.
Assistant coach Chris Walker remains in charge of the program, and hopefully there’s some sort of face-to-face interaction between Gillispie and Hocutt in the very near future.
With the season less than a month away and your leading returning scorer saying that he won’t play for Gillispie, Texas Tech needs to figure all of this out.
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.