Second-year Illinois State head coach Dan Muller has an uphill battle this season as his Redbirds squad welcomes eight new players and returns no starters from last season’s team.
This week, with the dismissal of senior guard Bryant Allen
, the Redbirds are really lacking in experience as Allen was dismissed after being charged with possession of marijuana and delivery, driving on a suspended license and disregarding a stop sign.
The Redbirds will now likely look to Chicagoland product Paris Lee to fill Allen’s spot this season. Lee — a 5’11 guard from basketball powerhouse Proviso East — told the Bloomington Pantagraph
that he’s ready to step in and take Allen’s place as he prepares for the IBCA All-Star Game on Saturday.
“It was real sad,” Lee told the Pantagraph. “I looked up to Bryant just like a brother because we’re both lefties. He was like a mentor figure to me. That kind of got me down. I told him I’m going to play this season out for him.”
“I’m going to show them I can pass and play real good defense and show them that I can win,” Lee also said.
If anyone can contribute on both ends of the floor immediately for Illinois State at guard it might be Lee. Lee, along with SMU recruit Sterling Brown — the younger brother of Shannon Brown — helped lead Proviso East to the 2012 state championship game and the 2013 state semifinals.
In both years, Proviso East lost to Simeon and Jabari Parker during Simeon’s quest to four consecutive Illinois state championships but Lee’s play as an on-the-ball defender and guard that can handle both spots opened eyes.
Scott also writes for NY2LA Sports and can be followed on Twitter @sphillipshoops
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs won’t practice this week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday.
The school said in a news release that Hubbs had it done “to address chronic swelling issues that have been present since the preseason.”
No timetable has been set for when Hubbs could return to action, but he is considered doubtful for Tennessee’s next game on Dec. 12 at Butler. Tennessee (4-3) is in the midst of a 13-day break from games, which marks the program’s longest layoff during a season since December 1967.
Hubbs is averaging 15.3 points per game to rank third on the team. The 6-foot-4 junior has scored at least 13 points in each of Tennessee’s seven games.
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.