Marquette capped the non-conference portion of its schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 71-48 win over Samford, with Jajuan Johnson coming off the bench to lead four players in double figures with 14 points. The win nearly came at a major cost for the Golden Eagles however, as senior forward Jamil Wilson was forced to leave the game in the first half due to a left knee injury.
After undergoing an MRI on Saturday evening, it was revealed that Wilson’s injury is a sprain and he’s considered to be day-to-day according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Jamil Wilson's MRI revealed a sprained left knee and he is listed as day to day, according to @journalsentinel. #mubb
According to the Journal-Sentinel, head coach Buzz Williams essentially held Wilson out for precautionary reasons, with the Golden Eagles opening Big East play at Creighton on Tuesday night. And given Marquette’s resume to this point in the season, with their best win in non-conference play coming in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy over George Washington, that matchup in Omaha sets up to be a big one.
“I would say he’s fine,” Williams said. “He probably tweaked something. I think he could’ve played and he wanted to play. In the last non-conference game, regardless of who the opponent is, I don’t think that I would’ve played him. I think it was the conservative approach to make sure nothing structurally is wrong.”
Wilson, currently averaging 11.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, ranks second on the team in scoring behind senior center Davante Gardner. They’re the only two Golden Eagles averaging double figures, and against Samford all four of Marquette’s double figure scorers came off the bench. If Johnson and Deonte Burton (13 points) can build off of their performances against the Bulldogs, that would bode well for Marquette moving forward.
But even with the progress shown by the freshmen, Marquette will need Jamil Wilson on the floor Tuesday night as Creighton features All-American forward Doug McDermott. McDermott can score from anywhere on the floor, and having the athletic Wilson available will help Marquette in defending the preseason Big East Player of the Year selection.
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.