Oregon has made it official: point guard Dominic Artis and big man Ben Carter, both of whom could have started for the Ducks in Friday’s season kickoff against Georgetown in South Korea, will be suspended for nine games.
The pair will be allowed to play on Dec. 17th, when the Ducks host UC Irvine. That means that they’ll miss important non-conference games against the likes of Georgetown, Ole Miss and Illinois.
The good news? Oregon has a trio of transfers that are eligible immediately in Jason Calliste, Joseph Young and Mike Moser. They have the depth to overcome the loss of these two guys, but that doesn’t mean they won’t feel the loss. If there is a silver lining here, it is that Dana Altman will be able to get two games in with his full lineup before conference play kicks off on January 2nd.
Artis and Carter were suspended for selling limited edition shoes that were given to them for being members of the Oregon basketball team. It may be silly, but it very much is an NCAA violation.
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.