Halil Kanacevic will be suspended for two games after he flipped off the Villanova student section after hitting a three in St. Joseph’s 65-61 loss to the Wildcats in the Holy War on Tuesday night.
Kanacevic will sit out a Dec. 22nd meeting with Fairfield and a Dec. 28th game against Iona. He’ll be eligible to return on Dec. 31st against Drexel.
Kanacevic will also be suspended from practice and all team activities for the next week.
“There is no place for obscene gestures or personal outbursts directed at anyone,” said head coach Phil Martelli. “We have always sought to conduct ourselves in a respectful manner to our University and to our opponents, and this behavior was unacceptable and inexcusable, even in the heat of the moment.”
“The tradition of the Philadelphia Big 5 and the reputation of Saint Joseph’s University are greater than any one game or any one player,” added SJU director of athletics Don DiJulia. “In a meeting earlier today with myself and Coach Martelli, Halil was appropriately remorseful and accepting of this sanction. We have reinforced the expectations of our student-athletes, on and off the court.”
“We hope this incident serves as a ‘teachable moment’ for all of our coaches, student-athletes and supporters. We have also apologized to the appropriate parties at Villanova and extend that to all those who attended the game and watched on national television.”
Kanacevic gave an apology in a statement:
“My actions were wrong and embarrassing and I strongly regret them. I made a mistake and I accept total responsibility for my behavior. I am sorry for the harm caused to my teammates and coaches and my actions were unbecoming of a member of our community. I sincerely apologize to both universities and to everyone who saw the game.”
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.