Michigan State isn’t the only team in the state that’s currently banged up.
Michigan is as well.
Star center Mitch McGary is not yet healthy, according to John Beilein. He missed the entire preseason and the first two games of the season a back injury. He’s had a thigh contusion. He’s tweaked his ankle a couple of times.
That’s a problem. McGary is an energy guy, and this little bumps and bruises are keeping him from getting into good enough shape to be effective.
McGary had just eight boards and four boards as Arizona pounded Michigan in the paint in their comeback win over the Wolverines in Ann Arbor last weekend.
“Right now, Mitch cannot go 100 percent,” Beilein said. “He can’t do what he can, and it’s for a lot of different reasons.”
Beilein said he’s working to get back to that level. “Part of it is obviously cardio training and part of it is weight training. Part of it is rest. Part of it is treatment. Believe me, every hour that he has that does not involve final exams, final papers, is involved in trying to get him back to a level that he can perform at his best.”
Michigan plays Stanford at the Barclays Center on Saturday.
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.