The team’s top three scorers, seniors Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner, along with redshirt sophomore Troy Joseph will also be placed on probation by the school, all stemming from a Sept. 15 brawl with members of the school’s track and field team. All four were charged with third-degree assault.
“The University has concluded its investigation and has heard the appeals of the four members of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. After a thorough review, the University has lifted the suspensions of the student-athletes and has placed them on probation,” LIU Athletic Director John Suarez said in a release. “In addition to sanctions implemented by the University, the Athletic Department has suspended the four players for the first two Northeast Conference games of the 2012-13 season.”
This is good new for the Blackbirds and coach Jack Perri, who returns a bulk of their squad from last season’s NEC tournament championship team that lost to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
As a whole, LIU gets back 46.9 points and 19.3 rebounds from it’s 2011-12 team in Garner, Boyd and Olasewere. Joseph has yet to play at LIU after a redshirt season as a true freshman and missing last season due to injury.
Kudos to the LIU administration for making the suspension count by suspending the players for the first two games of the conference season. LIU opens the regular season against Morehead State in the brand-new Barclays Center in town and at Lafayette on the road, but conference games in a one-bid league like the NEC matter more, so these suspensions could greatly affect the season for LIU if those two games are losses.
The NEC has yet to announce the conference schedule.
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.