Auburn Basketball: Desi Sills backs off Plains commitment

Desi Sills was set to suit up for Auburn basketball in 2021-22. Then things took a left turn.

Today, he announced on Twitter that he now intends to enroll in Arkansas State and suit up for the Red Wolves next season.

Sills was a 3-star recruit out of Jonesboro, AR, and ranked as the #256 overall player in the 2018 class. His recruitment came down to Arkansas and Missouri; in which the home-state Razorbacks landed his commitment on August 19th of the 2016 season.

Sills was a two-time 6A All-State selection in the state of Arkansas while leading Jonesboro High School to back-to-back Arkansas state championships.

Sills played in all 98 of Arkansas basketball games over the past three years, while being a Preseason All-SEC 2nd team selection before this last season. One of Sills’ biggest performances came against Auburn this season. The six-foot-two guard scored 14 of his 22 total points in the 2nd half and lead Arkansas to a win after being down 12 to the Tigers.

Bruce Pearl released a statement on the transfer of Sills:

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Desi. I love his toughness and I wish we would’ve had a chance to coach him. It was in Desi’s best interest academically to pursue a different opportunity other than Auburn.”

This leaves an important question on how Bruce Pearl will replace this loss. Auburn basketball will have two scholarship spots left for the 2021-22 squad after the departure of JT Thor to the NBA and now the loss of the commitment from Sills.

There is a chance Auburn dives back into the NCAA transfer portal or they could look to stand pat at only 11 scholarship players for next season. According to the NCAA’s one-time immediate eligibility waiver, any player can transfer before July 1st and be immediately eligible for the 2021-22 season without penalty.

If Auburn does not choose to pursue another guard, then it sets the stage for K.D. Johnson to earn a starting role at the 2 guard spot. Auburn basketball has also landed two major transfers in Wendell Green and Zep Jasper. Both should see significant roles this season. There is also the possibility of Devan Cambridge playing shooting guard for the Tigers, which he did at times last season.

Bruce Pearl and Auburn basketball will be aiming to rebound from a difficult and injury-riddled 2020-21 season. The team might be the most talented team that Auburn basketball has fielded since the 2019 Final Four team and it will be exciting to see what Bruce Pearl and this coaching staff do with such a talented roster.