Texas Tech transfer and UCLA signee Wanaah Bail will be out for the next four months after undergoing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.
The surgery happened on June 28th, meaning that barring any setbacks, Bail should be ready to return to the court by the time the season starts in November, although there is no guarantee that he’ll be in shape then.
There is also no guarantee at this point that Bail will be eligible to play for UCLA this season. He originally signed with Texas Tech, but he left after the first session of summer classes due to his inability to deal with Billy Gillispie, who was as mean as he has ever been during his time at Tech.
Bail then went and spent some time at the Canarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands before returning stateside, spending part of the spring working out with John Lucas. He committed to UCLA in late May, but the issue is the summer session that he did at Texas Tech. He’s technically a transfer, not a recruit, despite the fact that he never suited up for the Red Raiders. That means that he needs to spend a year in residency at his new school before getting eligible; it’s essentially the same reason that Michael Dixon has yet to be cleared at Memphis.
I have a tough time seeing the NCAA failing to grant Bail a waiver considering the abuse that he put up with at Texas Tech that forced his transfer, but you never know what is going to happen in these situations.
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.