Cody Larson has been cleared by the NCAA to play immediately at South Dakota State.
The Florida transfer received a legislative release waiver for a one-time transfer exception on Monday, meaning that he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013-2014.
“We want to thank the committee and the NCAA for taking the time to look at Cody’s waiver,” head coach Scott Nagy said in a release. “We appreciate the fact that this ruling allows him the opportunity to be eligible to compete immediately.”
A star in South Dakota during his high school days, Larson couldn’t find a way to stay out of trouble once he committed to Florida. He was suspended from his high school team as a senior after an incident with prescription pain pills and was suspended by Florida following a bizarre incident outside a bar in Florida in which he allegedly tried to break into a car after sneaking into a bar after closing time to ask about a lost wallet.
He did not meet the requirements set forth by Billy Donovan to remain on the team after the 2011-2012 season, and thus spent last year focusing on improving his academics and life off the court instead of playing basketball.
Larson is a talented basketball player, and better than a typical Summit League athlete. With the Jackrabbits losing Nate Wolters to graduation this offseason, he’s the kind of pick-up that could help them avoid sliding back in the league standings. Larson hasn’t played in two years, but there’s something to be said for an athlete that has had his career taken away from him.
Larson is getting a second chance and, if he makes the most of it, the risk Nagy took bringing him in will look ingenious.
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.