UNC-Greensboro’s hopes for next seasontook a positive turn on Sunday morning when it was announced Tevon Saddler, the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, would return to school.
The 6-foot-4 guard had looked to transfer earlier this spring.
“We are pleased to announce that Tevon is rejoining our program,” UNC-Greensboro head coach Wes Miller said in a statement. “He handled the transfer process with a great deal of maturity, and after looking at a variety of different universities he felt that his heart was still at UNCG. On his own accord, he reached out to all of his teammates individually to ask for their blessing to return to the team. I have been impressed with his humility and thoughtfulness throughout this process. He is eager to get back to work with his teammates and continue to help us achieve the lofty goals we have for this program.”
Saddler was second on the Spartans in scoring, and led the team in assists with 12.5 points and 2.9 assists per game.
The UNCG program had taken its share of hits this offseason with rotation players Jordan Potts and Tyrone Outlaw leaving the program and top scorer Kyle Cain turning pro.
The Spartans were 14-18 (7-9 SoCon) last season, finishing sixth place in the conference.
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.