Tony Barbee

2014 small forward Sam Logwood commits to Auburn

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The current era of Auburn basketball hasn’t been particularly pretty, with the lack of success on the court seemingly matched by the number of players who have left the program. During Tony Barbee’s three seasons on the Plains nine players have transferred out, with three others being dismissed from the program. It goes without saying that it’s difficult to rebuild a program when the roster lacks continuity.

With five newcomers and Virginia transfer K.T. Harrell joining the program this season, the hope for Auburn is that they’ll be able to take a step in the right direction in 2013-14. Over the weekend coach Barbee and his staff received a needed boost on the recruiting trail, as 2014 forward Sam Logwood became the program’s first verbal commitment in the class.

The 6-6 small forward currently attends La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and he’s got the skill needed to get to the basket and finish above the rim. Per’s composite rankings, Logwood is ranked 116th nationally and 28th at the small forward position. With Auburn having dismissed Shaquille Johnson from the program this offseason, picking up another small forward was likely a priority for the coaching staff.

Auburn has just one returnee (senior Allen Payne) at the position, with junior college transfer Chris Griffin and freshman Dion Wade joining the program this season. Last season Payne averaged 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Tigers, who won just nine games (9-23) and finished last in the SEC (3-15). And with Harrell being the program’s lone shooting guard at present time, Payne, Griffin and Wade could also see time at that spot in 2013-14.

Logwood’s verbal commitment gives Auburn some much-needed depth on the wing, and with both Harrell and Griffin being juniors the Tigers will need more bodies on the wings for the future. Below are a few highlights of Logwood on the grassroots circuit.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.