Jalen Green chose to make a jump straight to the G League over playing college basketball for Auburn or Memphis April 16, but Auburn’s roster and recruiting board could allow the Tigers to recover from that miss (relatively) easily.
Recruiting wise, Auburn is still being considered as a landing spot by multiple five stars and one of the off season’s best graduate transfers. Here are some of the big names left on Auburn’s board:
Greg Brown III
6’9″ 195 lb. Five-star forward, consensus top 10 player
Brown has been linked to Auburn for a while and has visited Auburn twice since the Tigers’ Final Four run.
Brown is expected to make his decision April 24 between Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Auburn, Michigan and the G League. The G League is reported to have offered Brown a 400,000 contract.
Texas is the leader for Brown and holds 100 percent of his crystal ball predictions on 247Sports.
(For a more complete history of Auburn recruiting Brown, click here)
6’4″ 197 lb. Guard. Graduate transfer from George Mason University.
Kier got hurt last season and was only active for nine games. During his junior season, Kier averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists (to 2.7 turnovers) and 1.6 steals on 47 percent shooting from the field, 37 percent shooting from three and 77 percent shooting from the line.
Many of Kier’s shooting percentages looked even better as a senior, but Kier didn’t get to put an entire season of that shooting ability on display. During his senior season, Kier shot 46.4 percent from the field, 45.8 percent from three and 84.6 percent from the line.
To my knowledge, Kier hasn’t released any decision dates or timelines. However, Kier has already had virtual visits with Arkansas, Minnesota and NC State.
6’10” 220lb. Center. No. 159 nationally. McEachern High School (Georgia).
Cardwell missed his senior basketball season due to transferring, but the teammate of Sharife 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 still end up with the Tigers.
Cardwell is related to Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner and is friends with and a former teammate of Devan Cambridge and Cooper.
6’8″ 210 lb. Five star forward, consensus No. 1 player in 2021. The Patrick School (New Jersey).
Kuminga has been long expected to reclassify to 2020 and play college basketball next year. It’s yet to be seen if the G League will get involved, but the G League did contact a fellow top player in 2021, so it’s seemingly possible if they stretch the age limit by a few weeks to allow Kuminga to join.
As far as high school players go, Kuminga is one of the best. I wouldn’t expected him to play another year in high school.
He tweeted that he will release a top five soon, and rumors that Auburn that has been one of the top schools for a while leads me to believe the Tigers will make that list. However, Kuminga’s recruitment could get intense once (or if) he reclassifies.
Auburn commit JT Thor praised Kuminga in an interview he did with Pro Insight in January, mentioning that he and Kuminga were good friends when they played on the same team at Huntington Prep.
6’9” 250lb. Center. 2021’s No. 49 nationally. The Patrick School (New Jersey).
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 top 10, but like Kuminga, it’s unknown when he’ll take his next step(s) toward committing. Sanogo has also taken virtual visits with some of his top 10, but not Auburn as of now.
Auburn is rumored to have other backup plans ready to go, but it might be hard to find out who those players are without virtual visits and scholarships being offered.
The Tigers have two spots remaining, assuming Isaac Okoro keeps his name in the draft. If Okoro were to return (which he likely won’t, considering he is a top three pick by some mock drafts) Auburn would only have one spot remaining.
With Okoro declaring and Auburn’s five seniors graduating, the Tigers will have a lot of new faces and players forced to step up, no matter who else Auburn gets. However, two of those players will be Cooper and Thor, two of the highest rated players Bruce Pearl has signed at Auburn.
The rest of Auburn’s 2019 class, which was ranked No. 20, is expected to return. Devan Cambridge, Allen Flanigan and Jaylin Williams joined Okoro as freshmen who played significant minutes. Flanigan even started three games while Okoro was out.
Tyrell Jones and Babatunde Akingbola both played sparingly, but they are two players who will see increased minutes and possible starting roles this coming season.
Here’s what some Auburn lineups and rotations could look like as of now:
Sharife Cooper/Tyrell Jones
Tyrell Jones/Allen Flanigan/Jamal Johnson
Devan Cambridge/Allen Flanigan/Justin Powell
JT Thor/Chris Moore/Javon Franklin
Jaylin Williams/Babatunde Akingbola
Sharife Cooper/Tyrell Jones
Allen Flanigan/Tyrell Jones/Jamal Johnson
Devan Cambridge/Jamal Johnson/Justin Powell
Jaylin Williams/JT Thor/Chris Moore/Javon Franklin
Babatunde Akingbola/JT Thor/Jaylin Williams
Auburn will be one of the youngest teams in the conference, but it should have as much top-to-bottom talent as Pearl has ever had at Auburn. Auburn aggressively pursuing a grad transfer would make sense, due to the inexperienced roster, but it’s also hard to say no to adding more talented freshmen.