When Norvel Pelle committed to Iona about a month ago there was much excitement amongst Gael fans, as the talented Californian is capable of helping Tim Cluess’ team account for the loss of power forward Mike Glover.
Unfortunately fans will have to wait until at least January to find out what kind of impact Pelle can have, as he won’t be enrolling in the MAAC school until January as reported by Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
Norvel Pelle won't enroll at Iona until mid-season because the school has yet to get a ruling on him from the NCAA, source tells @SNYtv
Pelle remaining in limbo likely had something to so with Iona signing junior college forward Shawn Jackson last week, which pushed them back to nine newcomers following the tragic shooting death of Michael Haynes.
Whether or not Pelle is cleared Iona was going to undergo a serious transformation with the departures of Glover, Scott Machado and Kyle Smyth.
Momo Jones, Sean Armand and Taaj Ridley are the lone returnees to have experience in an Iona uniform, with all three having varying roles on last season’s NCAA tournament team.
With the plethora of newcomers in New Rochelle these three will need to be leaders in addition to producers, and if they can do that Iona can once again contend in the MAAC.
But to not have Pelle during their non-conference schedule does hurt, because when “on” he’s a talented player who can have an impact on both ends of the floor.
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.