Calbert Cheaney spent the past two years working as the Director of Basketball Operations for Indiana, the University where he was made three straight all-america teams before launching on a 13-year NBA career.
But Cheaney, a Hoosier legend, has moved on, accepting a job with St. Louis as the third assistant coach on Jim Crews’ staff.
“I have had a great appreciation for Calbert as a player and person ever since I met him during his sophomore year in high school,” Crews said in a statement released by the school. “He is of high character and has a great combination of work habits and work ethic. Calbert is very good at transferring his knowledge to the players he coaches, and he will fit in well with our coaching staff and players. We are excited to welcome him into the program.”
“I have known Jim Crews for a long time, and I’m eager to work with him and the rest of the SLU staff,” Cheaney said. “This is a great coaching situation to step into, and I look forward to adding to SLU’s recent success. I appreciate the SLU department of athletics welcoming my family into theirs.
“It is bittersweet to leave Indiana. Learning and building relationships with Coach Crean, the IU staff and the players was an unbelievable experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
The position came available when Jim Whitesell left the Billikens for St. John’s.
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.