James Madison on Monday announced that sophomore guard Andre Nation has been suspended the first 15 games of the 2013-14 season due to a violation of athletic department policy.
According to a release from the university, Nation — the lone returning starter for James Madison this season — will be suspended until the Dukes’ second Colonial Athletic Association game of the season on January 7th at the College of Charleston.
The 6’5″ sophomore from Plant City, Florida averaged 9.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season for the Dukes and was expected to compete for CAA All-Conference honors this season.
“It is an unfortunate situation,” James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said in the release. “I feel for the coaches, our student-athletes and many other folks who are invested in our program. We’re disappointed in Andre and hope that he is able to learn from this incident.”
Dukes head coach Matt Brady also commented in the release, stating, “We’re disappointed in Andre’s actions, and we hope that he learns a life lesson, that he is part of something greater than himself and is accountable to his team and to the entire JMU community.”
James Madison will now have five new starters for at least the first 15 games of this season after winning last season’s CAA Tournament and advancing to the NCAA Tournament Second Round after defeating LIU Brooklyn in a first-round matchup of 16 seeds. The Dukes then fell to Indiana in the Second Round.
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.