With the recent news that Freshman of the Year Jabari Smith Jr. and Defensive Player of the Year Walker Kessler will both be declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft, all eyes have turned to how Bruce Pearl will rebuild Auburn basketball’s lineup for next season.
One of Pearl’s top priorities this offseason is finding a big man to fill the shoes of Kessler, and a potential candidate for next year’s roster is Johni Broome. The forward entered the NCAA transfer portal just last week, parting ways with Morehead State, and is undoubtedly one of the best available transfers.
Broome included Auburn basketball in his list of final eight schools and has an official visit to the Plains scheduled for the upcoming weekend.
Fans are hyped up for the prospect of securing Broome for next season, and possibly with good reason– Bruce Pearl himself retweeted Broome’s Top Eight list, after all. Anticipation is building for the forward’s weekend visit, and fans got excited on Twitter:
— All Aubarn 🅿️ (@AllAubarn) April 13, 2022
You won’t regret it 🤷🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/itcuYliMLX
— Tyler Smith 🦚 (@tsmitty949) April 13, 2022
War Eagle pic.twitter.com/VgChSxCS2d
— GaBlueAU🅿️🦚🦅 (@whewou) April 13, 2022
Also in contention for Johni Broome are Duke, Houston, Gonzaga, Louisville, Memphis, Florida, and Kentucky. Broome did enter his name into the NBA Draft process but did not hire an agent and is not expected to remain in the draft.
According to Auburn Undercover, the big man put up some pretty big stats as the Ohio Valley Conference’s defensive player of the year:
With a school record 131 blocks, Broome was the Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of the year last season, finishing No. 3 in the country in blocks per game (3.85) — directly behind Auburn’s Walker Kessler. The 6-foot-10 sophomore played center for Morehead State, scoring 16.8 points per game (57.0% from the floor) along with 10.5 rebounds.
Pearl has already begun reloading for 2022 with the recent commitment of 5-star recruit Yohan Traore as well as 4-star Chance Westry and 3-star Tre Donaldson.