Demetrius Harris didn’t have his dreams of being a professional athlete come true playing basketball at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
That’s generally what happens to mid-major forwards that stand 6-foot-6 and average a handful of points and rebounds while shooting 44% from the free throw line.
But most mid-major forwards weren’t all-state receivers and safetys in football mad Arkansas in high school. And most weren’t forced to give up their football scholarship because of low ACT scores. And most didn’t give up football just to be able to get into Junior College, where they would be getting a basketball scholarship.
And while he never played football in college, scouts that saw him in high school didn’t forget about his ability, which is why he earned a tryout with the Chiefs earlier this month. He wasn’t drafted over the weekend, but that doesn’t change the fact that Kansas City was enamored enough with his athleticism to sign Harris to a three-year contract On Sunday:
Big CONGRATULATIONS to Demetrius Harris. Just signed a 3yr deal with the Kansas City Chiefs…Go Panthers!!!
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.