UTPA head coach Dan Hipsher wasn’t around to watch his Broncs fall 67-53 to Utah Valley on Thursday night, as he was ejected from the game in the first half. And as a result of his actions, the WAC has suspended him for UTPA’s game against Bakersfield for violating the league’s sportsmanship policy.
“Conference sportsmanship policies are clearly defined,” WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd said in the release announcing the suspension. “The action taken is intended to send a very clear message that there are definite lines that cannot be crossed, and that violations of the policies are not acceptable under any circumstance.”
Perhaps no greater sign of that frustration occurred then in the first half, when Hipsher was ejected. After being upset with the officials up until that point, Hipsher had enough when he thought a Utah Valley played traveled after sliding across the floor with the ball.
The referees didn’t give the Broncs the call and Hipsher went ballistic, running up to the official and yelling in his face. Hipsher was given a quick first technical and then ejected after Hipsher continued and bumped into the referee.
Hipsher continued laying into the official, having to be held back by players and his son, associate head coach Andy Hipsher. When Dan Hipsher left the floor, Utah Valley led 16-11.
UTPA’s currently 2-5 in WAC play, and they’ve lost two straight games heading into Saturday’s matchup with the visiting Roadrunners. Associate head coach Andy Hipsher, the head coach’s son, took control of the team after the elder Hipsher’s ejection on Thursday night.
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.