#24 Auburn Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Auburn Tigers
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
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Fresh off their trip to the Final Four, Auburn will look to build off that success in 2019-2020. That may not result in another Final Four appearance, but Coach Bruce Pearl obviously has this program in a very good place. With five key contributors from last year gone, Auburn will have to rely on their five returning seniors to step up and play a larger role this season.
2018-19 Record: 30-10, 11-7
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Bruce Pearl
Coach Record: 100-72 at Auburn, 562-217 overall
Key Departed Players:
Bryce Brown, Guard, 15.9 ppg
Jared Harper, Guard, 15.3 ppg
Chuma Okeke, Forward, 12.0 ppg
Malik Dunbar, Guard/Forward, 6.6 ppg
Horace Spencer, Forward, 4.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Anfernee McLemore, Senior, Forward, 6.7 ppg
Samir Doughty, Senior, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Austin Wiley, Senior, Center, 6.9 ppg
J’Von McCormick, Senior, Guard, 4.1 ppg
Danjel Purifoy, Senior, Forward, 3.7 ppg
Myles Parker, Sophomore, Forward, 0.8 ppg
Preston Cook, Sophomore, Guard, 0.5 ppg
Chase Maasdorp, Sophomore, Guard, 0.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Babatunde Akingbola, Freshman, Center
Lior Berman, Freshman, Guard
Devan Cambridge, Freshman, Guard
Allen Flanigan, Freshman, Guard
Javon Franklin, Sophomore, Forward, JC Transfer
Jamal Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Memphis
Tyrell Jones, Freshman, Guard
Isaac Okoro, Freshman, Forward
Jaylin Williams, Freshman, Forward
At 7.3 points per game, Samir Doughty is the team’s top returning scorer. He will continue to make a big impact on the defensive side of the court, but Doughty is also a very efficient three-point shooter. J’Von McCormick has the potential to run the point and emerge as a dangerous outside shooter as well. His numbers last season were nothing special, but with more minutes to go around, McCormick could make a big impact on the perimeter. The frontcourt returns seniors Anfernee McLemore, Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy. McLemore and Wiley are both solid rebounders and capable shot blockers. Purifoy is an athletic player who has yet to hit his full potential. If he does, Purifoy will be a major scoring threat. Outside of those five seniors, Auburn will have to rely on a large group of newcomers. Versatile guard Jamal Johnson comes in from Memphis and speedy freshman Tyrell Jones is nicknamed “Turbo” for a reason. Junior college transfer Javon Franklin has the versatility and experience to turn into a key contributor. Incoming freshmen Isaac Okoro and Jaylin Williams are highly regarded recruits. Auburn may have to take a step back from last year’s success, but do not expect the Tigers to take too big of a fall. Coach Bruce Pearl has brought in a lot of talent and last year’s role-players are ready to take over this team. If all of the experienced seniors can gel with the new faces, Auburn can compete for an SEC title and make another push towards the Final Four.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.7 (34th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.8 (104, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (141, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.7 (172, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 11.4 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.7 (36, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.1 (162, 7)
Rebound Margin: -1.1 (231, 12)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (100, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (63, 2)
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#33 Isaac Okoro
#105 Tyrell Jones
#113 Jaylin Williams