In the waning moments of Oklahoma State’s 65-61 loss at Texas Tech, Marcus Smart went flying into the stands after making a block that could have potentially kept the game alive.
A fan in the crowd said or did something to Smart that caused him to lose control of his emotions, pushing the fan before yelling at anyone and everyone he could find.
This has been a tough season for the Cowboys. Originally thought to be a potential contender for the Big 12 title, the Cowboys have lost five of their last six games and all of a sudden are in a position where simply earning a big to the NCAA tournament may be in jeopardy.
Smart’s lost his temper before this season, but this was simply unacceptable. I have no doubt that the fan said or did something to Smart to prompt the reaction. It probably was vile, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the guy deserved to get punched in the face instead of simply being on the receiving end of a two-handed shove.
But you simply cannot shove a fan if you are a player. Glare at him. Yell back. Drop every curse word you can think of. But do not EVER physically contact a fan, especially when the video — which was played live on National Television — will clearly show you being the aggressor.
The question now isn’t whether or not Smart will be suspended, it’s how long he will be suspended for. My guess would be four games, but I would not be surprised if he doesn’t suit up again in regular season play.
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.