“This has been a long process and we are obviously thrilled to learn that we will get Jaron back for one more season,” UND head coach Brian Jones said in a statement. “There are a lot of people to thank for their efforts, including Kara Helmig and her compliance staff along with our entire athletic administration.
“I also want to thank the NCAA and its review committee because now Jaron will be able to turn his college experience into a positive one. He’s gone through a tough road to get here with his father’s illness and dealling with some of his own injuries, but this decision will enable him to build upon his future and hopefully lift his family’s spirits.”
“This feels very good for me and my family,” Nash said. “We are very relieved and happy that the NCAA decided to give me a waiver to play my final season of collegiate basketball.”
Nash will be the leading returning scorer for UND, as he averaged 10.8 points last season. He began his college career at Tyler Junior College in Texas, but sat out the 2009-2010 season because of an injury. He played in 2010-2011 there before transferring to Texas Tech for the 2011-2012 season. He made the decision to transfer to UND in part because of what happened with Billy Gillispie in Lubbock, but also to be closer to his father, who was sick and living in Iowa.
Nash applied for a waiver to play immediately, but it was not granted by the NCAA, who has a rule that says that all four years of an athlete’s eligibility must be used within five years of enrolling in college. Nash had only played three seasons in those five years, which is why he was given an extra year.
This is how hardship waivers will be handled in the future. Instead of granting a kid immediate eligibility, the NCAA will give them an extra season, if needed, to use all four seasons.
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.