Arkansas’ leading scorer B.J. Young was suspended for the final exhibition game tonight and for the team’s season opener against Sam Houston State for a violation of team rules.
Young, a sophomore, averaged 15.3 points for the Razorbacks last season.
Mike Anderson wouldn’t go into specifics on this matter. Arkansas played without Young and were cruising over LeMoyne-Owen at last check in the team’s final exhibition before the first regular season game, against the Bearkats, on Friday.
Young was an all-SEC selection last season and passed up a shot in the NBA Draft to return to the Razorbacks for his second season with the team.
This doesn’t do much to diminish the hopes of Arkansas and it’s fans this season. The Razorbacks get back a ton of talent, including forward Marshawn Powell, who played in only two games last season before a knew injury forced him to redshirt. The 6-7 Powell was averaging 19.0 points and 6.5 rebounds before the injury.
Expect guards Rickey Scott and Ky Madden to at least pick up the slack in the one game that matters for the Razorbacks. They won’t have to worry about much from Sam Houston State, a team that finished 13-19 last season and returns only one double-figure scorer.
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.