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Pittsburgh freshman Steven Adams will leave school after one season and enter his name into the 2013 NBA Draft, the school announced in a statement Tuesday.
Adams is a 7-0, 250-pound native of New Zealand who averaged 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game as a freshman this past season.
“In discussing options with my family and Coach Dixon, I feel that it is in my best interest to declare for the NBA Draft,” Adams said in a release. “I want to thank everyone at Pitt including my teammates, coaching staff, the administration and the fans who have all supported me over the last year.”
“We support him in choosing to pursue his dreams and in having the opportunity to provide for his family back in New Zealand,” coach Jamie Dixon said in the release. “We will continue to stay involved in the process and he will always be a part of the Pitt Basketball family.”
Adams is one of 18 siblings and his father passed away when Adams was 14 years old.
He is projected by DraftExpress to be selected 19th overall in the 2013 draft. The team that drafts Adams will likely do it based on potential, as he continued to improve throughout the season but remains a player with a large set of raw skills but one with great opportunity for growth in the right coaching system.
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.