Auburn basketball: Can Bruce Pearl re-clinch 2022 center Sage Tolentino?

Auburn basketball had only a single class of 2022 commitment, but now the number has been reduced to zero. 7-foot center Sage Tolentino committed to the Tigers back in October but has decided today to reopen his recruitment.

Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Tolentino plays for Hamilton High School in Ohio and is ranked as the #4 recruit out of the state in addition to being ranked the #15 player in the recruiting class of 2022. According to Musketeer Report, Tolentino moved to the area due to COVID-19 shutdowns in Hawaii and followed talented player Kai Sotto, who is training to join the G-League.

Tolentino and Sotto both have been training in Mason, Ohio with Dante Harlan of Ignition, which is a training facility that works with professional, collegiate, and amateur athletes. While it’s possible that Tolentino could follow his buddy to the professional league, it seems that he’s pretty set on attending college.

Tolentino visited the Cincinnati basketball program earlier this month despite his verbal commitment to play for the Tigers, and he attended camp at Xavier a little over a week ago.

Nathan King reports that as a high-schooler at Maryknoll back in Hawaii, Tolentino led his team to two state championships, and his sophomore year he averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks. As a junior in Ohio, he averaged 9.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. He started in 12 of 14 games and shot at 55 percent from the field.

While he originally committed to Auburn basketball over Kentucky, Kansas, and Cincinatti, the public opinion indicates that Tolentino may have been swayed towards the Bearcats’ program. After receiving so much support and transporting his whole life to Ohio, the Hawaiian and his family may not be ready to make such a move again down south to the Plains.

It’s possible that we could see Sage Tolentino suit up in orange and blue next season, but it’s looking as though the 7-footer may prefer to stay a little closer to his new home.