The Temple Owls aren’t in a position where they can afford to lose too many bodies heading into the 2013-14 season. With Khalif Wyatt and three other key contributors from last season’s NCAA tournament team out of eligibility, head coach Fran Dunphy finds himself with a team that doesn’t have much depth. And the program’s taken another hit in the personnel department.
According to Josh Verlin of City of Basketball Love, 6-5 freshman guard/forward Kyle Green has decided to leave the program. Green reportedly did not accompany the team on its recent trip to Europe for personal reasons.
Already in a position where they could ill afford injuries to key players such as forward Anthony Lee and guard Will Cummings, the Owls won’t have a large margin of error as they take on a schedule that includes the traditional Big 5 (La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova) games as well as their American Athletic Conference schedule.
Temple’s trip to Europe came at the right time in regards to their adjustment to life without Wyatt and Co., as guys who were either role or seldom-used players last season will have to take on added responsibilities in 2013-14.
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.