Baylor has lost a pair of guards to transfer in the last couple of weeks, but the Bears may have found a way to fill that void.
Royce O’Neale is expected to commit to the Bears today, according to a report from Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. O’Neale is a 6-foot-5 wing from Killeen, TX, that averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 boards and 3.5 assists for a good Denver team last season. O’Neale’s grandfather is sick and he’s transferring home to be closer to him, and O’Neale is expected to apply for a waiver to gain immediate eligibility.
O’Neale isn’t the only wing that Baylor has added recently, as they also signed top 100 recruit Al Freeman after Freeman backed out of his commitment to UCLA.
The Bears need all the perimeter help that they can get right now. Not only did LJ Rose and Deuce Bello transfer out of the program, but Pierre Jackson has graduated. Brady Heslip and Gary Franklin both return, and Scott Drew also brings in a JuCo transfer named Kenny Chery at the point. But it’s going to be a tall task to replace the production that Jackson provided.
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.