After putting together a spring that made him one of the Class of 2015’s best prospects, 6-foot-8 forward Ray Smith suffered a significant setback on Thursday afternoon at the adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago. Smith suffered a knee injury during that session, and on Friday it was reported that he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Ray Smith informed me that he has a torn ACL in his left knee. Done for the summer.
The Las Vegas native put together an excellent season at Las Vegas High School last season, posting averages of 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. However with this injury, Smith’s father believes that an appearance during his senior year of high school is doubtful.
“As of today I would say he’s not going to play the high school basketball season,” Bobby Smith said. “If he comes back, it would be toward the end of the playoffs.”
The good news is that the elder Smith is also quoted in the Review-Journal that the programs still recruiting Ray plan to remain in the fold and no offers have been pulled. With the advances made medically when it comes to repairing a torn ACL that comes as no surprise, especially when considering how talented Smith is.
Arizona, Arizona State, California, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest are the ten schools vying for Smith’s services, with the five-star prospect revealing that list in May.
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.