Adreian Payne

The Secondary Break: Thursday’s Links

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The Adreian Payne Story: How Michigan State star became the ultimate role model (Bleacher Report)
The story of Michigan State senior forward Adreian Payne is one that anyone can draw inspiration from. From his path to Michigan State, which included a lot of hard work in the classroom, to his relationship with 8-year old Lacey Holsworth as she fights cancer, Payne has become a man we all can learn from.

Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane making the most of second chance (Sports Illustrated)
Iowa State’s enjoyed a great deal of success during Fred Hoiberg’s tenure when it comes to adding transfers to the program, with senior guard DeAndre Kane being the most recent. Kane’s path to Ames was anything but smooth, as he lost his father and also had bouts with immaturity at Marshall before head coach Tom Herrion informed him that his scholarship would not be renewed.

Friday Preview: Wildcats lead from within (Phila Hoops)
No. 6 Villanova has exceeded preseason expectations, winning 20 of their first 22 games and currently sitting in a tie for first place in the Big East. One of the reasons for that: the leadership that begins with head coach Jay Wright, and on the floor a solid group of upperclassmen led by senior James Bell.

Amid talk of NBA prospects, KU’s Tarik Black gets NFL attention (Lawrence Journal-World)
While Kansas has two freshmen in Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins who have been the focus of much NBA chatter, they aren’t the only Jayhawks with designs on a professional career. One of those other players is senior forward Tarik Black, with head coach Bill Self stating that the big man should consider trying out for an NFL team.

No. 22 UConn can make a statement against No. 7 Cincinnati (Hartford Courant)
One of the biggest games on Thursday’s schedule is UConn’s trip to Cincinnati, with the Bearcats currently holding a two-game lead in the American Athletic Conference. And the game represents an opportunity for the Huskies, who can add another quality win to their resume while closing the gap at the top of the conference.

Washington takes on Utah and Colorado, the toughest road trip of the Pac-12 season (Seattle Times)
Conference realignment has forced many schools to adjust the way in which they attack their schedules, and the Pac-12 would be one example of this. With the addition of Colorado and Utah, this two-game swing has become the toughest according to a number of the league’s coaches. Not only is there the travel to be concerned with but also the altitude, a challenge that no other road trip in the Pac-12 poses.

Jalen Coleman-Lands cleared to practice

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Jarrod Uthoff #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes defends against Jalen Coleman-Lands #5 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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When Illinois takes on Southeast Missouri State in the opener of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Illini should have it’s starting backcourt out on the floor.

According to Jon Rothstein, Jalen Coleman-Lands has been cleared for all basketball activities. The sophomore two-guard has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.

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.

Coleman-Lands will team up with Tracy Abrams, a point guard who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing the past two seasons due to injuries.

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.

NBC Sports projected Illinois to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season.

Curtis Jones jumps over Tom Crean

Tom Crean
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Indiana held its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.

One of the highlights from the team’s dunk contest was when freshman guard Curtis Jones jumped over Indiana head coach Tom Crean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a newcomer us his coach as a dunk contest prop. Last week, Rawle Alkins cleared Arizona head coach Sean Miller en route to a reverse jam.

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.

WATCH: Edmond Sumner take off from the foul line

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Edmond Sumner #4 of the Xavier Musketeers dunks the ball during the game against the St. John's Red Storm at Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Edmond Sumner is a big reason why Xavier is likely going to be a preseason top-10 team.

On Saturday night, during Musketeer Madness, Sumner won the team’s dunk contest when he took off from the foul line.

Sumner defeated freshmen Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. J.P. Macura, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, took home the honors last year.

The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore is coming off a debut season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

WATCH: Duke goes crazy for Chase Jeter’s bottle flip

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Chase Jeter #2 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on in the second half against the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The bottle flip has become an international sensation in recent months.

It’s as simple as it sounds: flipping a water bottle in the air, attempting to have it land upright.

Duke sophomore forward Chase Jeter, in front of 9,300-plus fans, successfully pulled off the bottle flip on Saturday night at Duke’s Craziness.

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.

Auburn to honor Charles Barkley with a statue

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04:  Former NBA player and commentator Charles Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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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.

His number 34 is retired at Auburn.