When Jeff Bzdelik resigned towards the end of March, it was unclear whether his Wake Forest squad would return to the ACC school when athletic director Ron Wellman hired a new coach. Now that Danny Manning has been brought from Tulsa to Winston-Salem, questions have been raised if certain Demon Deacons, like sophomore guard Codi Miller-McIntyre, would indeed be back.
Bret Strelow of the Fayetteville Observer spoke with Miller-McIntyre and asked if he would play under Manning, and the guard confirmed he wasn’t going anywhere, telling Strelow that he couldn’t see any particular reason why he would transfer from Wake Forest.
The 6-foot-3 guard had one of the more underrated sophomore seasons; he significantly increased his assist rate, cut down on his turnovers — 15 percent turnover rate! — and worked hard to attack the basket in the halfcourt, spurning low percentage shots when drawing a foul and getting to the free throw line would prove more advantageous (the guard attempted nearly 100 more free throws than his freshman year). Now under the tutelage of Manning, Miller-McIntyre could be on the cusp of a potential breakout season.
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.