A J.J. Avila layup with a second remaining on Saturday gave Colorado State a dramatic 85-83 victory over New Mexico State, and it turns out that the result may have come at an even greater cost for the Aggies. Junior reserve forward Remi Barry went down in the first half with a left knee injury, and on Tuesday he underwent an arthroscopic procedure. And according to the report, there’s still no word as to how long the Paris, France native will be out of the lineup.
“He had an MRI Monday and we got the results Tuesday that he has to have surgery to repair the injured knee,” NMSU head coach Marvin Menzies told Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News late Tuesday night. “We have to wait a couple weeks before he can have surgery so the swelling can go down. It’s not clear how long he could be out.”
Barry’s played just over 12 minutes per game for the Aggies, posting averages of 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest. His absence cuts the New Mexico State interior rotation to three players for their game against in-state rival New Mexico on Wednesday, with 7-foot-5 sophomore center Sim Bhullar (10.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.5 bpg), 6-foot-10 junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (9.3, 7.1) and 6-foot-10 senior forward Renaldo Dixon (5.8, 5.3) being the options.
Barry may not have seen as much playing time as the other three, but the depth hit could be an issue with New Mexico featuring the productive tandem of center Alex Kirk and forward Cameron Bairstow in its front court.
New Mexico State was the overwhelming pick to win the WAC in October, with preseason Player of the Year Daniel Mullings and reigning WAC tournament MVP Sim Bhullar in the middle. That won’t change if Barry’s unable to return at some point this season, but issues such as foul trouble or another injury become greater concerns as a result.
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.