With Tim Frazier sidelined due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, Jermaine Marshall saw his role change during his junior season at Penn State. With Frazier, considered to be one of the Big Ten’s best guards, out of the lineup Marshall was asked to do even more offensively for head coach Patrick Chambers. Marshall posted averages of 15.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season, but instead of staying at Penn State for his senior season the guard from Etters, Penn. made the decision to transfer.
Ultimately Marshall wound up at Arizona State, where he’s expected to be a valuable contributor that welcomes back point guard Jahii Carson and center Jordan Bachynski. And Marshall’s certainly an important player for the Sun Devils, who have to account for the departure of two double-digit scorers from last season’s squad (Carrick Felix is a Cleveland Cavalier, and Evan Gordon transferred to Indiana).
Unfortunately for Marshall and Arizona State he’s been dealing with a case of Valley fever, with that news being provided by head coach Herb Sendek during Pac-12 Media Day in San Francisco. According to Sendek, Marshall’s missed the last week of practice but is working towards returning to the court soon.
With Marshall expected to return to the floor soon the Sun Devils seemingly won’t have to worry about any missed game time. Marshall’s the most experienced of a group of newcomers on the perimeter looking to crack the rotation, including junior college transfers Beau Barnes and Shaquielle McKissic, sophomore Calaen Robinson (sat out all of last season) and freshmen Chance Murray and Egor Koulechov.
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.