The news for DePaul went from bad to worse on Monday as the struggling Blue Demons announced in a school-issued release that senior forward Cleveland Melvin is no longer with the men’s basketball program.
“DePaul senior forward Cleveland Melvin is no longer enrolled at DePaul, and therefore no longer part of the DePaul basketball program,” the statement read.
Melvin had been held out of DePaul’s previous four games and was one of the school’s all-time leaders in points, scoring average, rebounds, blocks, field goals and free throws.
A native of Baltimore, Melvin was the 2011 Big East Rookie of the Year but could never lead DePaul over the hump as the program struggled mightily during Melvin’s years with the team. Melvin was DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell’s first official signee at DePaul.
The senior was averaging 16.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 20 games at DePaul this season while shooting 47 percent from both the field and the three-point line.
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.