“It’s a vicious circle, and it’s one of the things I’m very disappointed in our game about to be blunt and honest with you,” Izzo said. “I think we’ve got to find a solution. You wonder why it’s harder to discipline kids nowadays, they’ve got 20 people telling them ‘Well if you don’t like it just leave.'”
“These guys have done something where they just feel like the smaller programs, if you play well there you’re going to move up or definitely as a fifth-year guy you’re going to leave.”
Here’s the irony: Izzo is in the market for a transfer!
He whiffed on former USC Trojan Byron Wesley but he’s still in the mix for former South Florida big man John Egbunu. Former West Virginia guard Eron Harris, one of the top targets in this year’s transfer period, reportedly has the Spartans in his top three. He may also lose a player or two to transfer this offseason.
I’m sure that it’s frustrating for Izzo. College basketball isn’t the same as it was when he took over at Michigan State, and he’s already made it clear that he is not a fan of the way that a coach has to recruit at the highest level of the game. That’s one of the major reasons that his name has been linked with NBA jobs that are coming open.
Does that mean he’s leaving?
I don’t know, but when you do something one way, and you do it so well for so long, it has to be frustrating to be forced into a change.
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.