May 22, 2014

A good start for Pearl


AUBURN | It appears that Auburn has put the finishing touches on its 2014 class, the first under new coach Bruce Pearl and his staff. In this Q&A, national basketball analyst Eric Bossi talks about the class and Auburn's new coaching staff.

What do you think of the additions to Auburn's program for 2014?

"What needs to be understood is when you get a job in the spring, the current class, the seniors, are going to be pretty well picked over so there's always going to be some gambles involved with some of the guys -- high-risk, high-reward in terms of some of these guys.

"Moving forward, Bruce Pearl's track record speaks for itself in terms of recruiting. They'll be able to recruit. They're going to have some obstacles to overcome with the sanctions Pearl is working through, not being able to be on the road for a little bit. In the SEC, you've got Kentucky and Florida there at the top, but then it's pretty wide open after that to me. Pearl and his staff can definitely step right in and be recruiting forces."

Are Pearl and his staff capable of signing a nationally ranked class in 2015?

"Sure, I don't see why it wouldn't be. I don't think it's a priority. I think they're just trying to get the best players that they can, but I'll be surprised if they don't have a better class in 2015 than they did in 2014."

Your thoughts on assistant coaches Tony Jones, Chuck Person and Harris Adler?

"I don't know Tony Jones on a personal level but I've seen him out and about over the years, and he has a good reputation as a recruiter. This is the first college gig for Chuck Person because he's been working in the NBA. Surely, Chuck Person is going to be used locally where he's a legend to most of the high school and summer coaches. Even though the kids might not be quite familiar with him as a player, all the people around them sure know about him and will be able to educate them.

"I've known Harris Adler for years and he's always been a really hard worker and always really good at identifying talent. I think it's a pretty good staff."

What is Auburn getting in T.J. Lang, who committed this week?

"He's a kid that has good size for a wing. I think he shoots it pretty well with range to the 3-point line. On the floor, he's got good athleticism. I think he needs to get stronger and adjust to playing high-major SEC wings on a nightly basis and he's going to have to tighten up his ball handling a little bit. I think he's a guy that's a good take because he's in-state and can fill a specific role early on, and try to develop him into more of a compete player that plays heavier minutes."

What do you think of JUCO PF Cinmeon Bowers, who was this staff's first commitment?

"He's undersized, from a height standpoint, for a 4-man but makes up for his lack of height by being very strong. He can make some midrange jump shots, he can carve out space in the lane to finish and attack the glass. I think he's very similar to Jeronne Maymon at Tennessee."

Your thoughts on Sam Logwood, who signed with the previous staff in December?

"Logwood is an explosive athlete in both the half court and transition. He rebounds really well for a wing. He actually had to play power forward as a senior because they didn't have the size, and he's a pretty good finisher around the rim and does an adequate job of defending big guys if he has to, he switched into that role. If they want to play small, you could sneak him in for minutes at the 4, but he'll primarily be a wing player. I think he has a chance to help out right away."

Bossi has not scouted Jack Purchase, who signed with Auburn out of Melbourne, Australia in November. New Mexico State guard K.C. Ross-Miller announced this week his plans to transfer to Auburn for his senior season, giving the Tigers five newcomers for 2014-15.

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