Ahead of the 2021-22 season, many of the players that Auburn basketball brought on to the team were transfers, with only one player–Jabari Smith Jr.— in the signing class of 2021. However, this season Bruce Pearl has already signed two players to the recruiting class of 2022, has a hard commitment from a third, and is working on getting a fourth.
Both 4-star shooting guard Chance Westry and 3-star point guard Tre Donaldson have already signed with the Tigers, and following the chaos that ensued at LSU after the firing of head coach Will Wade, Pearl was able to pull in 5-star Yohan Traore.
The 5-star big man may be the key to locking in another 5-star recruit for the Tigers, who are currently trying to secure another former LSU commit in Julian Phillips. Like Traore, Phillips rescinded his decision to attend LSU after Wade was dismissed.
Phillips spent several days on the Plains earlier this week, and liked what he saw, per Auburn Live:
“The fans are crazy and the facilities are very nice,” Phillips said. “Coach (Bruce) Pearl’s track record speaks for itself in terms of culture, winning and getting guys to the NBA. Everything is really great at Auburn.”
Phillips got the chance to spend time with Bruce Pearl and the coaching staff as well as the players already on the roster, but one of his biggest recruiters is Yohan Traore, who is working to convince Phillips that they could still be Tiger teammates, just at a different school:
“We were both going to LSU previously so I know him real well,” Phillips said. “He actually texted me (during my visit). Once I got here, he was one of the first people to text me. He wants me to join him.”
Following his visit with Auburn basketball, the 5-star power forward plans to make a decision soon.