No. 9 West Virginia will be without an important starter Saturday afternoon when they visit Florida, as it was announced Thursday night that senior forward Jonathan Holton has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.
Holton’s averaging 9.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for Bob Huggins’ team, and his role at the head of the Mountaineers’ full court pressure is an important one. At 6-foot-8, Holton has the length and athleticism to make things difficult on opposing teams.
West Virginia doesn’t lack for depth in the front court, with players such as Elijah Macon and Esa Ahmad in line to see more playing time as a result of this disciplinary action. With Saturday’s game being followed by Big 12 contests against Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas, a prolonged absence for Holton could make things difficult on the Mountaineers as they look to make a run at the Big 12 title.
Two weeks after his team’s season came to an end, Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning announced that guard Madison Jones had been suspended for a violation of team rules. The suspension prohibited Jones from participating in any basketball-related activities with the team, and as a result there was work to be done to ensure that he’s be a member of the team in 2015-16.
Wednesday the school announced that Jones is back with the team, as Manning has decided to reinstate the rising senior guard. Jones played in 32 games last season, starting six, and averaged 4.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
“I have made the decision to reinstate Madison from his suspension from all basketball-related activities after several weeks away from the program,” Manning said in the release. “I have evaluated his progress over the past several weeks and feel that he has made great strides and better decisions to earn his way back. We anticipate that he continues down this path for his senior year.”
Jones’ reinstatement gives the Demon Deacons another experienced guard to call upon in 2015-16. Joining Jones as returnees on the perimeter are fellow senior Codi Miller-McIntyre (the team’s leading scorer) and sophomores Mitchell Wilbekin and Rondale Watson. Wake Forest also adds freshman Bryant Crawford to the perimeter rotation.
The presence of Jones and Wilbekin should allow Wake Forest to get Miller-McIntyre, who in addition to leading the team in scoring was also its assists leader, some opportunities to make things happen off the ball offensively.
With three games remaining on a ten-game suspension for a violation of athletic department policy, Oregon State junior forward Victor Robbins landed in trouble Sunday. According to the Corvallis Gazette Times, Robins was cited and released from Benton County Jail for driving under the influence of intoxicants.
While no specific reason was given when the program announced Robbins’ suspension in January, getting in more trouble before being allowed to return to the floor certainly isn’t a good look for Robbins.
Prior to his suspension Robbins was averaging 10.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and he was a valuable reserve for a team that doesn’t have much depth. But since then Wayne Tinkle’s Beavers have continued to play at a level few expected before the season began, and on Sunday Oregon State beat Washington 64-50 in Corvallis.
Oregon State is 5-3 in its last eight games, and after Sunday’s win they’re 16-7 overall and 7-4 in Pac-12 play.