Auburn basketball: Transfers, targets, dates to remember

Auburn basketball hasn’t added any new 2020 high school targets to it’s board recently, but many of Auburn’s targets have set commitment dates. The Tigers have also shown interest in a few transfers.

Transfer targets:

DJ Carton – Guard, Ohio State

Carton had to step away from the team at Ohio State to tend to his mental health in January, but the former top-35 recruit still had impressive performances during his freshman season.

Carton’s 15 points against Kentucky and his 19 points against Minnesota highlight those performances.

Michael Ertel – Guard, Louisiana Monroe

Ertel is transferring from Louisiana Monroe after scoring 16.2 points per game there as a junior.

His junior season highlights include a 39-point performance against South Alabama where Ertel made 11 threes.

Luther Muhammad – Guard, Ohio State

Auburn showed interest in Muhammad almost immediately after he put his name in the transfer portal. As did UCLA, Arkansas, Georgia and others.

Muhammad is known for his defensive abilities but also averaged 7.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while starting 56 games in two seasons for Ohio State.

Umoja Gibson – Guard, North Texas

Gibson averaged 14.5 points per game on 39.4 percent shooting from three last season at North Texas. Like many of the guards Auburn has targeted in the transfer portal, Gibson seems like a combo guard with the ability to get hot from three.

While Gibson’s 1.9 assists and 2.4 turnover averages don’t look like the mark of a point guard, his shooting percentages and consistent scoring seem to be a sign of good potential.

Jeff Otchere – Center, Stony Brook

Otchere provides size but it’s hard to tell what else. At Stony Brook, he averaged 3.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in two season. However, he blocked 2.4 shots per game as a freshman and 1.5 per game as a sophomore without ever averaging more than 18 minutes per game.

Otchere’s upside with more minutes, or his ability to provide a quality rim protector in relief minutes, makes him an interesting target.

Auburn has missed on a few transfers already, but it is unclear to me how much of a priority those transfers are with Auburn still being involved with three different five star recruits. Auburn’s interest shown towards remaining transfers and junior college players could spike or dwindle depending on what Auburn’s remaining targets do.

2020 recruiting targets:

Jalen Green – five-star guard, No. 3 nationally, Prolific Prep. Expected to commit around April 15, or by the end of April.

Green could be the No. 1 overall NBA draft pick in 2021 if he stays on his current trajectory.

Green visited Auburn for the weekend of the Mississippi State football game, when fellow five star guard Sharife Cooper made his commitment to Auburn.

Green, before he was ever publicly linked to Auburn, was reported to be interested in becoming a veterinarian.

Auburn, Memphis and going straight to the pros are the options most talked about when it comes to Green, but the five-star guard has said he is isn’t afraid of going to a non-traditional power, and seems to have a good relationship with Cooper.

Green would be a great fit to play guard in Auburn’s green light, high powered offense, especially alongside a point guard like Cooper.

Greg Brown III – five-star forward, No. 9 nationally. Vandegrift High School (Texas). Expected to commit April 24.

Brown and Auburn have been on each others’ radars for a while, and his interest in Auburn seemed to grow considerably following the Tigers’ Final Four and Brown’s visit the week after Big Bruce Weekend. Brown also visited for the Iron Bowl.

Brown is a versatile forward who can do a little bit of everything, but the athleticism he displays on highlight reels is what he has become known for.

Auburn’s power forward (or “four”) position would highlight Brown’s specialties and Bruce Pearl’s offense would give him a chance to put his full skill set on display, but everyone from Memphis, to Texas, to Auburn, to Kentucky has been seen as recent favorites.

Jonathan Kuminga – 2021’s No. 1 nationally. The Patrick School (New Jersey). No commitment date or reclassification date set.

Kuminga is one of the best basketball players in high school, no matter the class. Before the coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19) hit, he was expected to reclassify into 2020 and play in college next season. Kentucky, Auburn, Duke and LSU seemed to be the likeliest suitors early on, but UGA has recently entered the mix.

Kuminga probably isn’t expected to play another year in high school, but he hasn’t confirmed that yet. Auburn was one of the first schools to offer Kuminga and hosted him for a visit in 2018.

Omar Cooper (father of Sharife Cooper) hosted a give back tournament in his home state of New Jersey last season and Cooper’s team (McEachern) was set to play Kuminga’s before an injury sidelined Kuminga.

JT Thor – No. 51 nationally. Norcross High School (Georgia). No commitment date set.

When Auburn first offered Thor, he was a five-star, top 10 forward in the class of 2021. Since then, he has transferred to Norcross High School, dropped in the rankings, reclassified, parted ways with Auburn and now has Auburn back in the mix.

Thor is a unique player who is long, lanky and versatile. His pro-potential jumps off the screen when you imagine what he’d look like after a season in a college conditioning program.

With Auburn targeting other forwards like Kuminga and Brown, Thor is a player the Tigers can add to play at multiple different positions and not have to worry about splitting minutes.

However, Oklahoma State has been seen as a heavy favorite of Thor’s for a while. This article does a job good at breaking down what Thor sees in his different options:

Adama Sanogo – 6’9” 250lb. Center. 2021’s No. 49 nationally. The Patrick School (New Jersey). No reclassification or commitment date set.

Sanogo is a teammate of Kuminga who has been rumored to be reclassifying and could team up with Kuminga in college.

Auburn recently made Sanogo’s list, but like Kuminga, it’s unknown when he’ll take his next step(s) toward committing. Sanogo would be a skill, big man that the Tigers could definitely use.

Dylan Cardwell – 6’10” 220lb. Center. No. 159 nationally. McEachern High School (Georgia). No commitment date set yet.

Cardwell was forced to miss his senior season of basketball due to transferring, but the teammate of Cooper has remained of interest to a few schools.

Playing last season likely would have helped Cardwell’s stock rise, but the size and intensity was still on display for Cardwell on McEachern’s bench.

Cardwell recently said he is waiting to see what schools like Auburn and Maryland do to fill out their classes, so he could end up with the Tigers if Auburn misses on a few of its other targets.

Cardwell is related to Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner and is friends with and a former teammate of Devan Cambridge and Sharife Cooper.

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