Talk about a weird sequence in Thursday’s UC Santa Barbara-Hawaii game.
Hawaii coach Gib Arnold had just gotten a technical foul when a UCSB fan sprinted onto the court from the student section and got into his face on the sideline before backpedaling and challenging a Hawaii player to a fight.
“It was a little crazy to have a fan pushing your players around. I’ve never seen it. You don’t expect it,” Arnold, a 22-year coaching veteran, later said in a postgame TV interview. The man, who wore a UCSB Class of 2014 T-shirt, was later arrested after being ushered off the court.
Hawaii, which lost 86-77, was trailing 30-16 with 6:02 left in the first half when guard Brandon Spearman was called for an intentional foul. Arnold argued with the refs as he and an assistant came onto the court. That’s when the fan ran onto the court. Players pushed the fan away before security escorted him off the court.
UC Santa Barbara spokesman Bill Mahoney said the man, who the school believed was a student, was arrested by campus police. Mahoney, who did not identify the fan, said he could face discipline and could be expelled if he is a student.
“Historically when things like this happen, the student, who was arrested, would go in front of Judicial Affairs, which is part of Student Affairs,” Mahoney said in an email to ESPN. “The extent of his punishment would be speculation, but I would doubt it will be mild.”
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.