Auburn basketball: Who will start at small forward in Allen Flanigan’s absence?

Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

Auburn basketball will be without one of their top players from just a season ago, Allen Flanigan, until mid-December with an Achilles injury.

A year ago, Flanigan was a shining light and shot-creator during games where Sharife Cooper and Justin Powell were in street clothes. He struggled in SEC play, particularly against Vanderbilt, Florida, LSU, and Alabama, but he was essential in their AUTLIVE game against Tennessee and their season finale against Mississippi State in the Tigers’ two late-season feel-good wins.

Luckily, the 2021-22 Tigers are deep in the frontcourt and could probably still sail through non-conference play until late December.

Auburn basketball has several different routes in replacing Flanigan at SF

Bruce Pearl has said he is going to take hints on how to manage his oversized frontcourt from Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel. The most Laker-like thing the Boston native could do is inserting Jaylin Williams into the starting SF spot alongside likely big man starters Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler.

Williams is no LeBron James, but he can contribute across the board and is quite the physical specimen himself. Averaging 11 points, 4.7 rebounds, two assists, and 1.4 blocks a season ago, Williams’ size would help solidify the physical advantage the 2021-22 Tigers will have over most teams at the 3.

Not only that, but Pearl wouldn’t be sacrificing shooting by having Williams in there. The Brantley County High School product brought his 3-point shooting conversion rate to 34% in his sophomore season.

If Pearl wanted to go a more traditional route, Devan Cambridge and Chris Moore could slide to the starting spot. This would allow Pearl to maintain his rotations as close as possible, assuming Williams is due for a big role whether he starts or comes off the bench.

Fly War Eagle is hoping he opts for a supersized starting five, but we’re ready to roll Morehead State November 9th regardless of who is out there.