Williams, who played 13 seasons in the NBA and in Europe after completing his four-year career in Chapel Hill, replaces the departed Doug Novak on Conroy’s staff. Novak left the school to become the new head coach at Bethel College. The addition should help the Green Wave in the backcourt, as Williams was a key member of three Final Four teams as a player.
“He is a talented teacher of the game who is driven to help our student-athletes develop on and off the floor and will make a tremendous impact in our player development,” Conroy said of his new hire in the release. “I am eager to witness the relationships Shammond is able to cultivate within our program and on the recruiting trail while sharing all his basketball and life experiences.”
Tulane, which will join the American Athletic Conference in 2014, won 20 games for the first time in Conroy’s four seasons at the school last season but there’s plenty of work to be done to account for the departures of guard Ricky Tarrant (15.7 ppg, 3.6 apg) and forward Josh Davis (17.6 ppg, 10.7 rpg).
With Jordan Callahan and Kendall Timmons both having graduated, Tulane’s leading returning scorer is small forward Trevante Drye (4.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg). Tulane welcomes seven newcomers to the program this summer, and there should be ample opportunities for that group to earn minutes in their first season as members of the program.
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.