The Auburn Tigers are not known for their basketball program, but the hiring of Bruce Pearl as their head coach made it clear that they wanted to improve. It isn’t easy for a basketball team to take a big leap forward in a football oriented school, but Pearl is slowly but surely turning things around.
Pearl and the Tigers saw their 2016 recruiting class take a big jump forward with the commitment of 6-foot-7 forward Anfernee McLemore. Not only does he have an awesome name, he showed as a junior in high school last season that he can score the ball consistent and rebound as well. Auburn has needed help in their front-court, and this is a big step in the right direction.
PROUD to announce that I will be continuing my education and basketball career at AUBURN UNIVERSITY! pic.twitter.com/bF8prhX9GK
— Anfernee McLemore (@akmclemore) August 5, 2015
During the 2014-15 season at Worth County High School in Sylvester, Georgia, McLemore ended up averaging 19.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 6.4 blocks per game. That’s right, McLemore was able to block 6.4 shots per game.
He likely won’t be able to continue that type of dominance during his college basketball career, but it would be safe to assume that he’ll block a couple shots per game.
McLemore had plenty of other interest around the nation, and chose Auburn over programs like South Carolina, Tulsa, Oregon State and Oklahoma State. Both South Carolina and Oklahoma State are considered better basketball schools, but he chose to join the Tigers and help build something special. The presence of Pearl was a big reason why he chose to sign with Auburn, and it will be interesting to see if Pearl can turn them into a legitimate contender.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to play for Coach Pearl,” McLemore told Rivals. “Coach Pearl is a great coach, and so are Coach (Chuck) Person and Coach (Todd) Golden. They recruited me hard and I have developed a great relationship with each of them.”
It will be interesting to see what type of career is ahead of him with Auburn. He certainly has put up the necessary numbers to gain some interest from multiple colleges, and he has a very intriguing skill-set.
Expect to see him get his career off to a strong start immediately, and to be one of the key building blocks to helping Auburn get their basketball program on track.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Auburn Athletics