Having already landed commitments from forwards Ryan Fazekas and Alex Owens, Providence head coach Ed Cooley added to his backcourt on Thursday. 6-foot-3 guard Drew Edwards, who has shown the ability to play both guard positions at Calvert Hall HS in Baltimore, verbally pledged to attend Providence in 2015.
The news was first reported by Edgar Walker of DMVelite.com via Twitter.
Last season Edwards averaged 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game on a team that finished the season with a 28-6 record and reached the title game of the Baltimore Catholic League playoffs. Among the other schools considered by Edwards were Dayton, Kansas State, Richmond and Clemson.
In a story written by Matt Bracken of the Baltimore Sun, Edwards mentioned his relationship with Cooley and the fact that Cooley doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon as reasons why he chose Providence.
“Coach Cooley just signed a new contract. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” Edwards told Bracken. “He’s been at Providence and turned the program around. … His heart and soul is at Providence. He grew up right around Providence. That’s the spot for him.”
Providence may not have a senior in its backcourt heading into the 2014-15 season, but this is a program that needed additional depth in that area. Kris Dunn, who’s struggled with injuries in his first two seasons as a Friar, will be a junior this season with Cleveland State transfer Junior Lomomba (sophomore) and freshman Kyron Cartwright both being underclassmen.
Providence has just two seniors on this season’s roster, forward LaDontae Henton and center Carson Desrosiers.
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.