Jim Larranaga and the Atlantic Coast Conference champs added a seventh newcomer for the 2013-2014 season in junior college transfer James Kelly (Owens Community College/Toledo, Ohio).
The transfer power forward Kelly averaged 18.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while leading Owens CC to the NJCAA Division II tournament semifinals. Kelly was ranked as the No. 22 overall junior college player according to JuCoRecruiting.com
“James Kelly will be a vital part of the team this season because he provides us a power forward/small forward who can contribute both inside and outside,” Larranaga said in a statement. “He’s 6-7, 245 pounds and he’s big enough to battle the bigger teams in the ACC, but also quick enough to guard smaller players on the perimeter.”
“Our recruiting class in the spring has added a lot of versatility and much-needed skills to our program,” added Larranaga. “We have graduated five outstanding seniors and lost Shane Larkin to the NBA Draft, so we have a lot of holes to fill.”
Kelly signed on Tuesday along with Emmanuel LeComte, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Belgium. The Hurricanes will try to get transfer point guard Angel Rodriguez to get a waiver to play next year after transferring from Kansas State.
The rest of Miami’s incoming class includes shooting guards Davon Reed (Princeton Day School/Princeton, N.J.) and Deandre Burnett (Massanutten Military Academy/Miami, Fla.) A pair of Miami football recruits — Derrick Griffin and Cornelius Elder — will join the basketball team at the end of football season.
The six players Miami lose from the 2012-2013 team accounted for an average of 62.9 points per game.
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.