“So what should the expectation be on the Plains for year one? While Coach Freeze overhauls the roster he will also need to win over the Auburn power brokers, just like basketball coach Bruce Pearl was able to do,” Fletcher wrote. “Coach Freeze’s biggest task for year 1 is to unite Auburn fans and boosters and get everyone on the same page.”
Fletcher is in the know, understanding the dynamics at AU and clearly having followed the rise of Pearl’s Tigers to the upper echelon of the college basketball world after making the tournament twice in the new millennium in the years preceding him. Auburn has made it to the Big Dance three times since Pearl’s hiring in 2014, including and most notably, guiding the Tigers to a Final Four appearance in 2019 without their eventual first-round NBA draft pick, Chuma Okeke, to boot.
Analyst confident Auburn football could become good again quickly
Fletcher was high on the ability of Auburn football to rally and become a force quickly with Freeze at the helm, suggesting that the circumstances — including but not limited to the “second chance” labels and the previously proven track record of coaching success — are similar enough to Pearl’s to be excited.
“Auburn took a chance on Bruce Pearl in March of 2014,” Fletcher prefaced before saying, “That hire at the time was considered a second chance. Today it looks like a home run hire and Auburn Basketball has been elevated to heights not seen before on the Plains. Auburn Football has recently given a second chance to Coach Hugh Freeze and just like Coach Bruce Pearl, Coach Freeze knows how to win and Auburn University wants to win.”
Fletcher gets it. Auburn is a place that isn’t too big to fail but becomes a full-on monolith when alignment is achieved. Freeze understands how to get the best out of players, but if he can do the same for the boosters, the ceiling is limitless.
All signs seem to be pointing in the right direction for Auburn football. Now the damn thing must be done on the gridiron as it was on the hardwood.