Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs III arrived in Knoxville as one of the nation’s best shooting guards, but unfortunately for the Volunteers they didn’t get to see much of the freshman in action in 2013-14. Due to a shoulder injury Hubbs played in just 12 games, scoring 5.1 points in just over 18 minutes of action per game.
Given the personnel losses incurred this offseason Hubbs would be a key player for new head coach Donnie Tyndall if he decided to remain at Volunteer. And on Thursday night Hubbs announced via his Twitter account that he’ll be returning for his sophomore season, making what has already been a good week for the Tennessee program an even better one.
I started out at Tennessee and im staying at the University of Tennessee.. #VFL#GBO
Hubbs’ announcement comes on the heels of four-star guard Detrick Mostella signing with the program, with Mostella joining guard Kevin Punter and forward Jabari McGhee in Tyndall’s first recruiting class at Tennessee. Add in Josh Richardson (10.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and the Volunteers have some quality pieces to build with in 2014-15.
Front court depth, even with the addition of McGhee, remains a concern at this point in time. But given the uncertainty that surrounded the program prior to Tyndall’s hiring, Tennessee’s in a better place now than they were in mid-April.
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.