After averaging 5.5 points per game on a team that reached the NCAA tournament in 2013-14, Louisiana guard Kevin Brown has reportedly decided to transfer to New Orleans according to a report Monday by Joshua Parrott of Basketball Times. As a result of his having graduated from Louisiana, Brown will be eligible to play immediately for head coach Mark Slessinger.
Joining the New Orleans program means that Brown returns to the city where his college career began, as he played in 18 games as a freshman at Tulane. Prior to last season, in which Brown played in all 35 games (13 starts) for the Ragin’ Cajuns, he played in just eight games due to a broken foot suffered during the 2012-13 season.
Brown’s best outing as a redshirt junior came in Louisiana’s 81-74 loss at South Alabama on January 16, as he scored 14 points (4-for-6 FG) in 24 minutes of action. His arrival gives New Orleans, which finished the 2013-14 season with an 11-15 record (8-10 Southland), some additional perimeter depth with rising sophomores Christavious Gill and Tevin Broyles being their most productive returnees in the backcourt.
Gill averaged 7.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, with Broyles adding 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds. Heading into 2014-15 the Privateers will have to account for the loss of its top four scorers from last season a group that included forward Cory Dixon (13.5 ppg, team-best 7.7 rpg), and leading assist man Isaac Mack (8.6 ppg, 3.3 apg).
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.