Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh – all highly-ranked forwards – round out the group of 2013 stars, along with Florida commit, Kasey Hill.
Jahlil Okafor of Whitney Young (IL) headline the talent in the Class of 2014.
Several interesting match-ups will take place that weekend, including a head-to-head battle with some of the best wings in the nation. On day four (Jan. 20) of the weekend, Vonleh and New Hampton (NH) take on top-ranked Wiggins and Huntington Prep.
The final day of the weekend is where most of the top talent shows up. One of the more interesting games is between a pair of Kentucky targets, as Gordon and Archbishop Mitty (CA) take on Randle and Prestonwood Christian (TX). Parker and Chicago power, Simeon will play Oak Hill Academy (WV). The past two seasons at the Hoophall Classic, Oak Hill has held Randle and former Ohio State star Jared Sullinger silent.
Hall of Famer Bob Hurley and St. Anthony (NJ) also scheduled to return, as well as Findlay Prep (NV) and Brewster Academy (NH).
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.