While the coronavirus has shut down coaches from going on the road and recruiting, that doesn’t impact players from making their decisions. With J’Von McCormick, Samir Doughty, Danjel Purifoy, Austin Wiley and Anfernee McLemore all out of eligibility, Auburn will look to capitalize on a big recruiting class.
Auburn will likely be forced to replace freshman Isaac Okoro, who will enter the draft process and will be advised to enter the draft by Bruce Pearl if he’s told he’ll be a lottery pick.
Players like Allen Flanigan, Devan Cambridge, Jaylin Williams, Jamal Johnson, Tyrell “Turbo” Jones and Babatunde “Stretch” Akingbola will all step into larger roles, but Auburn will need to add more freshmen to the class.
Currently the Tigers have Justin Powell, the No. 2 player in the state of Kentucky, Chris Moore, recently named the Arkansas player of the year, and McDonald’s All-American Sharife Cooper signed for next year.
Cooper is the No. 20 player in the nation according to 247Sports, and has been a key figure in recruiting other players to join him at Auburn.
Let's take a look at who else could join Pearl's 2020 class.
(G) Jalen Green
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Top Schools: Auburn, Memphis, Oregon, Overseas
While the Memphis Tigers and Penny Hardaway looked to be the favorite for Jalen Green for a while, things have been trending towards the Tigers in Auburn, recently.
The 6-foot-5 guard from Napa, California, is the No. 3 player in the nation and would surpass Cooper as the highest rated player to ever sign with Auburn.
Cooper is close friends with Green and likely a big reason Auburn is now the favorite to land Green.
Memphis and Oregon remain threats, but it seems to be a two way race between Green coming to Auburn, Memphis or going to play overseas for a year before entering the NBA draft.
Green recently said he planned to announce his decision on April 15.
(F) Greg Brown
Top Schools: Texas, Memphis, Auburn, Kentucky, Michigan
The No. 10 player and the No. 1 power forward in the country is another big Auburn target.
Auburn is fighting an uphill battle against the likes of Texas and Memphis, but is still considered a potential darkhorse to land Greg Brown.
Listed at 6-foot-9, Brown could play anywhere from small forward to a “small-ball” frontcourt player for Auburn.
Brown posted on his Instagram story on Sunday that a college decision and commitment will be “coming soon.”
(C) Cliff Omoruyi
Top Schools: Arizona State, Auburn, Rutgers
With Wiley and McLemore departing, finding a freshman center to pair with Akingbola is of utmost importance for Auburn next season.
The Tigers pushed hard for Cliff Omoruyi, the No. 8 center in the country, but he’ll be making his decision on March 29, and he looks to be heading to Arizona State after recent official visits there.
(C) Kai Sotto
Top Schools: Auburn, Depaul, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, USC, train for NBA draft
One of the biggest wild cards still left is the 7-foot-2 center originally from the Philippines, Kai Sotto.
Sotto moved to the states in April of last year and has been playing at The Skill Factory in Atlanta.
Things have been relatively quiet on where Sotto is going, but skipping college to train for the NBA draft for a year remains an option.
(F) JT Thor
Top Schools: Oklahoma State, UCLA, Auburn
An athletic forward who can shoot from anywhere, JT Thor would make for an interesting combo with Cooper at point guard.
Thor is a strong defender and can be a big time contributor immediately wherever he goes. He projects as a strong stretch four right now, but could play some center while at Auburn.
Auburn has been recruiting Thor for awhile and is making a strong late push at the No. 54 player in the nation.
Oklahoma State seems to be the favorite, but it remains to be seen how much of an impact the recent push has helped Auburn’s chances.
(C) Dylan Cardwell
Top Schools: Georgia, Connecticut, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati
This one is a bit of a stretch, considering Auburn hasn’t even offered Dylan Cardwell, but he’s likely someone the Tigers have kept their eye on.
Cardwell spent the last year at McEachern with Cooper, who has been pushing for Cardwell to consider Auburn.
It might be too late now, but the potential is still there.
(G) Joshua Christopher
Top Schools: Michigan, Arizona State, UCLA, Missouri
Similar to Cardwell, Joshua Christopher is a close friend of Cooper, who’s been pushing for Christopher to look at Auburn.
Auburn hasn’t offered Christopher and likely won’t as they’re focused on Green, and Christopher seems to be a Michigan lock.
(C) Makur Maker
Top Schools: Professional career, Oregon, Auburn
Had Makur Maker not been cleared to immediately enter the NBA draft, this would’ve been an interesting battle between Oregon and Auburn for the center originally from Kenya.
However, Maker received that clearance and is likely to enter the NBA draft.
(F) Keondre Montgomery
Top Schools: Auburn, Clemson, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Seton Hall
Not all freshmen can be 5-star, one-and-done players.
Even the biggest basketball blue bloods need to bring in players who can contribute for multiple years in different roles. Auburn may already have one of those in Powell, but Keondre Montgomery would be a strong addition to next year’s bench.
Things are still quiet around Montgomery, but Auburn looks to still be in the race for the Mississippi native.
(F) Nate Tabor
Top Schools: St. John’s, Auburn, Connecticut, East Carolina, LSU
Nate Tabor is another small forward who could play a similar role to Montgomery next year.
As of now, St. John’s seems to be the favorite as Auburn focuses more on Montgomery, but if things don’t work out with Montgomery the Tigers could still make a push for Tabor.
(F) Jonathan Kuminga
Top Schools: Kentucky, Auburn, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, LSU
While this is a list of recruits for the 2020 cycle, the No. 1 player in the 2021 class makes an appearance.
Jonathan Kuminga is an extremely talented prospect who could become nearly unstoppable once his perimeter shot develops a little more.
Rumors have been swirling of Kuminga reclassifying to 2020, and Kentucky, Auburn and Duke seem to be the favorites at the moment.
Don’t expect to see anything on Kuminga until at least the summer as the reclassification and decision process could take a while.
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