After a down season on the hardwood, Auburn basketball is responding by being an active participant in the transfer cycle. Having already landed Zep Jasper from the College of Charleston, Bruce Pearl is looking to add more talent from the transfer portal after losing a few rotation players of his own throughout the past season.
Tyrell “Turbo” Jones was the first major name to leave the program, transferring mid-season to land with the South Alabama Jaguars of the Sun Belt Conference. Following an uneven 13-14 season, Justin Powell and Jamal Johnson followed, with Johnson landing with Conference USA’s UAB.
Those losses, combined with the NBA Draft declarations by Sharife Cooper and JT Thor, make hoarding talent a priority for Pearl this offseason.
Having already landed 5-star recruit Jabari Smitha and 4-star Trey Alexander, the transfer portal is where the team will be filling out the roster, and Pearl has his eyes on a departee of the Big East in DePaul’s Keon Edwards:
DePaul transfer Keon Edwards has heard from Texas A&M, Florida State, Arizona State and Auburn, source tells @247Sports.
— Travis Branham (@TravisBranham_) April 1, 2021
Auburn basketball was not the highest 2020-21 finisher from the aforementioned group of teams interested in Edwards. Florida State made the Sweet 16 before falling to Michigan in a blowout loss in Indianapolis.
That said, the Tigers project to bounce back much sooner and more than likely reach greater heights than both Texas A&M and Arizona State next season. The Aggies were a bottom-four finisher in the SEC in 2020-21, while ASU was a bottom-four finisher themselves in the Pac-12, which, to their credit, did have the best March Madness record of any conference.
Auburn’s interest in Edwards comes as the team faces a potential Allen Flanigan departure. Flanigan could garner NBA interest himself, but an official decision has yet to be made.
Edwards, a six-foot-seven swingman out of Hillcrest Prep, didn’t get much burn in 2020-21 for the DePaul Blue Demons, but he has an out-of-the-building bounce and has shown flashes of a 3-point shot.
He’d be an intriguing dice roll from Pearl and co., but the Tigers have little to lose after a season in which they lost everything.