Auburn basketball HC Bruce Pearl claimed that the 2022-23 Tigers would be built around upperclassman Jaylin Williams. That statement was followed by AU landing both Johni Broome and Yohan Traore, who seemed like natural fits to directly replace Walker Kessler and Jabari Smith, respectively, in the starting lineup.
If Pearl’s statement were to hold true, that’d mean Williams could play the 3, which is something he did in spurts during the 2020-21 season.
That roster was certainly thinner than this upcoming season’s, which is one Pearl said made him akin to Noah, with Auburn basketball being his Ark.
Here were the post-Israel trip comments from Pearl on the biblical comparison:
"“I feel like Noah, since I just came back from Israel. I have got at least two of everything at every position, and a little more depth at guard from bringing in Tre (Donaldson) and bringing in Chance (Westry).”"
Chance Westry could be in the hunt for a starting role on the wing, but he may also compete for minutes at the 1 with fellow freshman Tre Donaldson, as well as upperclassmen Wendell Green Jr. and Zep Jasper according to Pearl:
"“Chance gives us great flexibility. He can play 1, 2 or 3. I’m anxious to see — I mean, he’s a natural wing, but he’s really good with the ball in his hands.”"
Auburn basketball could frequently go big in 2022-23
The six-foot-six Chance Westry is an ideal mismatch for opposing defenses at the 1, so combined with Jaylin Williams at the 3, the Tigers could trot out a sizable lineup that doesn’t sacrifice shooting at those positions. Yohan Traore projects to be another sharpshooting floor-stretching power forward in the same vein as potential 2022 No. 1 NBA Draft pick Jabari Smith, and Allen Flanigan could slot in between Westry and Williams on the wing if his shooting from the NBA G-League Elite camp.
It’s not a lineup that needs to be deployed all the time, but that arrangement would honor plenty of what Pearl has said so far this offseason.