Chane Behanan has been playing some of the best basketball of his career of late.
He had 22 points as Louisville came from behind to knock off Memphis in Memphis two weeks ago. After putting up 28 points and 18 boards in wins over Florida International and Western Kentucky, Behanan went for 20 points, seven boards, three assists and three steals as the Cardinals knocked off in-state rival Kentucky on Saturday afternoon.
Which is why now, with Louisville’s first Big East game tipping off on Wednesday evening, is the worst possible time for Behanan to get sick. But that’s precisely what happened, as head coach Rick Pitino announced on Tuesday that the sophomore forward is doubtful against Providence. Behanan isn’t the only one that’s sick. Redshirt Mangok Mathiang, Pitino and assistant Kevin Keatts are also battling the bug.
“We’re a little under the weather right now, and our practices have not been good,” Pitino said. “I hope it’s not a long bug.”
If Behanan can’t play, freshman forward Montrezl Harrell will likely be starting in his place.
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.