With Ray Kasongo not accepted by the school and JaQuan Lyle yet to be be cleared, the Oregon Ducks are approaching the start of classes in need of some additional depth. Senior guard Joseph Young will once again lead the way for Dana Altman offensively but he needs help if Oregon is to return to the NCAA tournament. And the Ducks have added a player who can help them from a depth standpoint immediately.
Brooks attended Findlay Prep last season, and his recruitment rebounded this summer due to his play during the month of July. Brooks led all scorers at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships with an average of 25.2 points per game, and at this month’s adidas Nations it was Brooks who led the camp in scoring with an average of 19.6 points per game (47.6% FG). Brooks scored the majority of his points inside of the arc at the camp, combining with fellow Canadian Jalen Poyser to lead a team that ranked third in the camp in scoring offense and second in field goal percentage.
Brooks joins an incoming class that includes guards Lyle, Casey Benson and Ahmaad Rorie, but as noted above Lyle has yet to be cleared although he is listed on the school’s official roster. Also joining the program are sophomore Jordan Bell, who wasn’t cleared academically last season, and junior college transfer Dwayne Benjamin.
Brooks’ arrival gives Oregon another player capable of playing the three, which should help their rotation at the small and power forward positions.
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.