Dooley takes over for Andy Enfield, who left for USC after helping to introduce FGCU to the public with their above-the-rim style of basketball that gained them national notoriety en route to becoming the first 15 seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16, beating second-seeded Georgetown and seven-seed San Diego State to make it to Dallas before falling to Florida.
The job is Dooley’s second as a head coach at the Division I level. He spent four seasons in the 1990s as head coach at East Carolina, going 57-52. He also made stops at New Mexico, Wyoming and South Carolina as an assistant in addition to Kansas.
Dooley came highly-recommended from the Jayhawks, who have dominated the Big 12 Conference with Dooley’s help on the bench. He can definitely recruit, and the program needed a good name in the recruiting and coaching game to keep the success Enfield started. Dooley seems to be that guy.
Enfield had been pushing for FGCU assistant coach Marty Richter to get the job prior to Dooley’s appointment.
FGCU finished last season 26-11 and won their first-ever Atlantic Sun Conference tournament title, leading to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament experience in just its second year of eligibility.
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.