How late did you stay up last night? Was it late enough to catch a 12:30 a.m. ET tip-off?
If you didn’t, we don’t blame you, but you missed Charlotte’s 67-59 victory over Northeastern to win the Great Alaska Shootout title in Anchorage.
“Just an honor. For this tournament being 35 years old,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said on winning the championship. “I’m really happy for JT Thompson. Last time he was here, he lost to Butler in OT. He said before the game, ‘How many chances in life do you get to go back and finish something?’ So I’m happy for him, but it’s just an honor to have a banner in here among some pretty elite company.”
The Great Alaska Shootout might not be the tournament that it used to be, eclipsed by the Maui Invitational and, more recently, what looks to be a perennially strong field in Atlantis, but Charlotte defeated Texas State, Oral Roberts, and Northeastern to win the title.
Charlotte had three stand-outs in the tournament, with Pierria Henry being named tournament MVP and Chris Braswell and TerrenceWilliams named to the All-Tournament team.
The 49ers improve to 6-0 on the season and return home to take on East Carolina on Dec. 1.
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.