North Dakota senior guard Troy Huff was one of seven players honored by the program before Saturday’s game against Eastern Washington, and he’ll leave the Big Sky school as one of the best players in program history. Huff entered the game having scored 1,883 points in his North Dakota career, ranking fourth in school history while also ranking second in steals.
Saturday’s game was a matchup of the top two scorers in the Big Sky, with EWU’s Tyler Harvey averaging 22.1 points per game and Huff 19.6. Both were held in check in the first half, with Huff failing to score a single point. He would bounce back to score 14 in the second half, with his final points of the afternoon coming on a basket as time expired, giving North Dakota the 69-67 win.
And he even did a celebratory cartwheel.
As a result of the win North Dakota moves closer to locking up a spot in the Big Sky conference tournament, with the top seven teams in the 11-team conference being eligible for a shot at the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
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.