In an effort to use the passion of their fanbase and last season’s run to a national title for a good cause, Louisville made the decision to sell pieces of the floor from last year’s Final Four and donate the proceeds to pediatric cancer research.
They come in three different sizes, starting at $99.99, and can be purchased here. According to a release from Louisville, “help support research being conducted by Kenneth Lucas, M.D., chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Kosair Children’s Hospital and division chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation for the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics.”
“As exciting as it was for us to win the national championship this year, it’s also exciting to be part of this effort to raise money for cancer research,” head coach Rick Pitino, fresh off of an induction into the Hall of Fame, said. “It’s all about giving back to the community, and Northwestern Mutual is providing a great example of how to be a good corporate citizen.”
After the 2012 season, Kentucky raised more than $200,000 for charity selling off pieces of the title game floor. This is a trend I can get behind.
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.