Auburn Basketball Pre-Season OutlookJune 6, 2018
Auburn Basketball racked up all kinds of huge news this past week. All in one day, the entire preseason seemed to have taken form.
All at once, Austin Wiley, Jared Harper, and Bryce Brown decided they were foregoing the NBA Draft and coming back to Auburn to better their game. This is obvious great news for the program in the upcoming season.
Mustapha Heron was the odd man out, as he decided to transfer to St. Johns to be closer to his mom. One might take this as discouraging news, but it actually could be a blessing in disguise as uber-talented transfer Samir Doughty will get his shot to fill the void.
Preseason Rankings are always a big part of the offseason, as it can birth excitement and anticipation for the college basketball fan, or allows an opportunity for humbleness, which makes you question if your team is as good as you perceive it to be.
Auburn is seen as a potential top ten team this upcoming season, but even with the recent news, some polls are a little more relaxed when it comes to ranking the Tigers high.
Post-deadline computer top 10: 1) Kansas, 2) Duke, 3) Villanova, 4) Nevada, 5) Virginia, 6) North Carolina, 7) Syracuse, 8) Gonzaga, 9) Tennessee, 10) Kentucky, 11) West Virginia.
— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) June 1, 2018
Sports Illustrated lists the Tigers at #9 in their offseason rankings, stating that a backup point guard will be needed but that Auburn has talent.
CBS Sports has Auburn at #10, and predicts another successful season for Bruce Pearl’s squad.
Frshoopz.com slots Auburn at #4, clearly their highest ranking from any outlet. Jon Rothstein, who is the writer, loves the Tigers.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 1, 2018
How Auburn stacks up
The SEC was very competitive last season, and 2018-2019 should be nothing but the same. Tennessee looks to be primed for another run, and Kentucky will reload as usual.
One team to look out for will be Vanderbilt, who signed a tremendous recruiting class that has the Commodore faithful very hopeful.
Quite frankly, the conference appears top-heavy, but there will be teams lurking in the shadows like Alabama, Mississippi State, Florida, and Missouri, who will all have a chance at making a surprise run at a conference title.
Auburn will have a dynamic offense next season mirroring last year’s team in terms of production, who were the SEC’s best scoring offense. The defense could be the key, though, and if the Tigers ramp up the pressure and work hard on that side of the ball, Auburn fans could be in store for a lot of big wins.
Pearl gets Extension
On Tuesday, Auburn announced that Bruce Pearl was given an extension through the 2022-2023 season. This is HUGE news for Auburn Basketball and its future, and could lay the foundation for another wave of talented recruits setting their eyes on what could be a transcendent era of hoops down on the plains.