After losing the last two editions of the Nike Hoop Summit, the United States select team entered Saturday’s game at the Moda Center in Portland looking to end that dubious streak. Thanks in part to the play of three players who will all don Duke uniforms next season the United States was able to do so, beating the World Team 84-73.
Justise Winslow scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench, with fellow Blue Devil signees Tyus Jones (13 points, six assists and five steals) and Jahlil Okafor (14 points, ten rebounds) also scoring in double figures. In total four United States players scored in double figures, with Kansas signee Kelly Oubre scoring 14 points in what was a balanced effort for the team coached by DeMatha High School (Hyattsville, Md.) head coach Mike Jones.
For the World Team two guards led the way offensively, with SMU signee Emmanuel Mudiay (representing the Democratic Republic of Congo) scoring 20 points and Jamal Murray (Canada) adding ten to go along with five assists. But with Kentucky signees Karl Towns Jr. (six points, eight rebounds) and Trey Lyles (nine points, 11 rebounds) in foul trouble for much of the night, Roy Rana’s team lacked the balance they managed to display in the last two editions of this game.
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.