Bruce Pearl's Auburn basketball tenure one of the great rebuilding jobs in CBB's modern era: Rothstein

Bruce Pearl's Auburn basketball tenure was deemed one of the great rebuilding jobs in college basketball's modern era by Jon Rothstein.
Auburn v Houston
Auburn v Houston / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Bruce Pearl's Auburn basketball tenure was called by College Hoops Today's Jon Rothstein one of the great rebuilding jobs in modern college basketball after one of the best wins of the 2023-24 season for any team over Arkansas.

"I know Pearl took the Tigers to the Final Four in 2019," Rothstein prefaced before saying, "I also know that he’s made Auburn’s program a perennial contender at the top of the SEC. But when you look closer at the numbers, what’s being done by Pearl in his current post is truly eye opening when the history of this program is dissected. The Tigers improved to 12-2 after Saturday’s 33-point win over Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena and are on their way to their sixth 20-win season in the last seven years. Prior to Pearl’s arrival in 2014, Auburn only had six 20-win seasons in the previous 30 years. This is truly one of the great rebuilding jobs in college basketball’s modern era."

Rothstein said that what Pearl's Tigers did to Arkansas on January 6 in the 2023-24 season's signature win was unheard of.

"This may not be Eric Musselman's best team at Arkansas, but what Auburn did today at Bud Walton Arena is unheard of," Rothstein prefaced before saying, "Anxious to see if Bruce Pearl's team will eventually join Kentucky and Tennessee atop the SEC."

Bruce Pearl's Tigers avenge painful 2022 Auburn basketball loss in Arkansas

Rivals' Bryan Matthews believes AU had a chip on their shoulder from Arkansas' upset of the No. 1-ranked Auburn team in 2022 at the Bud Walton Arena, and had it play out as such, during the Tigers' 32-point destruction of the Hogs in their 2023-24 SEC opener.

"Even Johni Broome, who was playing in a different league two years ago, took it personally," Matthews prefaced before saying, "That’s how motivated Bruce Pearl had Auburn going into Saturday afternoon’s game at Arkansas. And it showed.

"It was a complete emasculation in the second half as Auburn outscored the Razorbacks 46-21 to deliver the worst loss in the 30-year history of Bud Walton Arena. Pearl made sure to remind his team throughout the week of the court storming and shirtless fist pumping from Arkansas coach Eric Musselman after the Razorbacks knocked off No. 1 Auburn two years earlier."

In the modern SEC, celebrating a win like this too much is a dangerous proposition. But let's be real: these Tigers have probably already heard that from Pearl.