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Before the 2012-13 season began many expected Saint Joseph’s at the very least to be one of the Philadelphia schools playing in the NCAA tournament. But thanks to inconsistent play and various personnel issues Phil Martelli’s team failed to live up to the expectations, ending their season with a loss to St. John’s in the first round of the Postseason NIT.
In 31 games this season Aiken averaged 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, shooting 49.6% from the field.
“After lengthy meetings with C.J. Aiken and his family, C.J. has decided to pursue a career in professional basketball,” coach Phil Martelli said in a statement. “There will always be a place in my heart for C.J. I wish him well in all his future endeavors.”
Aiken is ranked 66th among NCAA juniors according to DraftExpress.com, and there’s a great deal of work to be done when it comes to his strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.
In regards to next season Saint Joseph’s is expected to return Ronald Roberts Jr. and Halil Kancevic, with both being seniors in 2013-14. Aiken’s departure opens the door for rising junior Papa Ndao, who averaged just 6.9 minutes per game this season, to possibly earn more playing time.
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.