While Henderson will be returning to class, he has yet to be reinstated by head coach Andy Kennedy, per Katz. The plan is for Henderson to get back into school and work on earning back the trust of his coaches, teammates and school officials, although that seems like a politically correct way of saying ‘we’re not kicking him off, but we’re making it look like he’s earning his way back’.
I still believe that this is the right decision by Kennedy, I just hope that he’s putting in the work — and ensuring that Henderson is putting in the work — to get him healthy. I’ve said this before: I don’t believe that Henderson’s issues are simply being a frat boy that parties too much. I don’t think Chris Herren would be called in if this was just a case of a punk kid ignoring rules.
Kennedy’s first goal should be to get Henderson clean, ensure that he graduates and help him work into becoming a productive member of society. If using a return to the team as a reward for Henderson getting his [stuff] together, I can’t see how that’s a bad thing.
“He will miss games,” Kennedy told Sporting News. “The extent of that is yet to be determined as we go through this process.”
Henderson’s indefinite suspension was announced July 10. Kennedy said a plan was put in place at that point through the university administration for Henderson to return to full status with the Rebels.
“From the time I suspended him, he’s been 100 percent compliant with the plan,” Kennedy said. “And our hope is he will continue to make the strides necessary to get back on the court.”
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.