Auburn Basketball: KT Harrell Is Key to Success in 2014-15


Feb 19, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Auburn Tigers guard KT Harrell (1) against the Florida Gators during the first half at Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

These are exciting times for the Auburn basketball program.

Despite a lack of success in recent seasons, things appear to be on the right track now that Bruce Pearl is in charge. Because of Pearl’s history as a winner and his recent job at ESPN, exposure for Auburn basketball is at an all-time high. Thanks to Pearl’s way with words and ability to connect with young players, so are the recruiting rankings.

The head coach will have a major impact on the Tigers’ success in 2014-15, but the key to winning in Year 1 of the Bruce Pearl era just might be a holdover from the Tony Barbee regime: senior guard KT Harrell.

More from Auburn Basketball

“When your most valuable officer or person is also your hardest worker or your most dedicated, you’ve got a good team,” Pearl said this summer at a speaking engagement with law enforcement officials. “KT leads by example both on and off the floor.”

Harrell, a transfer from Virginia after the 2011-12 season who was forced to sit out the following year, exploded onto the scene for Auburn last season. The 6-foot-4, 216-poind guard started all 30 games last season and proved to be one of the best scoring threats in the Southeastern Conference. In fact, he is the top returning scorer in the league this year after averaging 18.3 points per game in 2013-14, which ranked sixth last year.

According to Pearl, Harrell is now “stronger, faster, quicker, [and] lighter” than he was then.

Barbee and the Tigers leaned heavily on Harrell last season, and the Montgomery, Alabama native ranked in the top ten among SEC players with 32.6 minutes per game. He led Auburn in scoring eleven times and was the first Auburn basketball player to score in double figures across each of the first 21 games in a season in more than a decade.

Of course, Harrell’s production could only go so far, and the Tigers slumped to a 14-16 record, including a 6-12 mark in conference play. The good news, in addition to Pearl taking over as the new head coach after Barbee was dismissed, is that Harrell should have a stronger supporting cast.

Live Feed

Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


  • 2023 Week 4 AP Poll Top 25: Every SEC team’s highest, lowest spot on ballotSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Football: Florida, LSU rise in Week 4 2023 power rankingsSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Tailgating: Where should you go in each town?South Bound & Down
  • SEC football standings based on yards per play through Week 2FanSided
  • Auburn Basketball: Projected starting lineup and depth chart for 2023-24 seasonBusting Brackets
  • The most notable addition to the roster is guard Antoine Mason, a graduate transfer from Niagara who is the nation’s leading returning scorer. That’s right. Auburn has two different players on the roster that are the top returning scorer in the SEC and the top returning scorer in the nation.

    KC Ross-Miller is a transfer from New Mexico State, and should be an impact player, and Cinmeon Bowers, a 6-foot-7, 278-pounder, joins the program as a junior college transfer. Those additions will combine with the likes of returners Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Malcolm Canada and Matthew Atewe to give Auburn a pretty exciting core of players that will compete for the school’s first NCAA tournament bid since 2003. And since Bruce Pearl has led 17 teams to the tourney in his 19 seasons as a head coach, it’s not an unrealistic goal.

    Especially when Pearl has a player like KT Harrell to make it all go.