Jamie Dixon landed his third commit for the Class of 2013 on Friday night.
Jamel Artis, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. decided on Pittsburgh, which was a constant part of his recruitment over he last few seasons. The news was reported by Panther-Lair (subscription needed) and Edgar Walker, who tweeted it. Later was confirmed by Notre Dame Prep head coach Ryan Hurd via Twitter. Artis, a Baltimore native, had offers from La Salle, Miami (FL), Rutgers and South Florida.
This commitment continues the pipeline between Notre Dame Prep and Pittsburgh basketball. Over the last three seasons, Hurd has sent a a player to Dixon. Khem Birch, know with UNLV, committed in 2011 followed by Steven Adams in 2012. Pittsburgh always seemed the favorite to land Artis.
“Pitt was my main school,” Artis told Kevin Gorman of TribLive.com on Friday night. “Everybody else was just recruiting me, saying they loved my game but never really put in the effort. Pitt came to see me a couple times. I felt the love from them.”
For his size he has good handles and can get to the rim. Also is able to make plays with his ability to pass the ball. He joins power forward Mike Young and point guard Josh Newkirk as the Panthers incoming class.
Notre Dame Prep was investigated by the NCAA in Sept. 2012. The basketball powerhouse had two players from its Class of 2012 commit to Division I programs only to be ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA. This was Artis’ only season at Notre Dame Prep after transferring from Vermont Academy.
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.