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Bruce discusses future

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Bruce Pearl addresses who Auburn’s point guard will be next season

Updated May 8, 12:21 PM; Posted May 8, 10:02 AM

2-3 minutes

Auburn Basketball

45

Gallery: Regions Tradition Pro-Am

By Sam Blum | SBlum@al.com

With Jared Harper declaring for the NBA Draft — and having no intention of returning to Auburn — there’s an obvious hole at point guard for the Tigers next season.

J’Von McCormick was a viable backup for the Tigers, but really only during AU’s postseason run to the Final Four. He hasn’t proven himself over a full season, and has only played more than 20 minutes in a game twice.

So as the offseason kicks into full gear, it will definitely be a question what head coach Bruce Pearl’s plan will be at the point guard position for AU next season.

“Right now, we’re really not looking to try and replace Jared," Pearl said, "in the sense that Tyrell (Jones) definitely can. I think Samir could play at the position as well.”

These are significant remarks from Pearl, who spoke at a scheduled Regions Traditions media opportunity for only three minutes.

Pearl seems to be going full steam ahead at the point guard position with only one true point guard — who’s only experience is a somewhat serviceable season as a backup.

Jones, AU’s four-star recruit from Florida, is a combo guard. He will also be a true freshman. Samir Doughty played some emergency point guard minutes last season when McCormick got hurt, but he has more experience as a forward than a ball-handler.

It’s also important because the point guard is truly accentuated in Auburn’s system. It’s someone that can rack up a lot of points and assists in a 3-point heavy, space-the-court type of offense.

But if you read between the lines of why Auburn is content with their current situation, it makes sense.

“The 2020 class is loaded with great point guards," Pearl said. "And so the one thing I don’t want to do, is I don’t want to put in a good young point guard right now ahead of the 2020 class. So I think we’ll play the cards we have going into the season.”

When Pearl talks about the 2020 class being loaded, he’s likely referring to five-star PG Sharife Cooper, that has been closely linked to Auburn in the 2020 class. Pearl probably doesn’t want to jeopardize his likely commitment by giving away his job to a 2019 player.

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1 hour ago, Gene Loblaw said:

The first sentence of the article is a bit of a doozy!

Why 

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30 minutes ago, alexava said:

Why 

Usually media members are pretty coy about making predictions like that to protect themselves from criticism if they’re ever wrong. Even though we may have all heard rumblings of it, it’s pretty bold for a media member to just flat out say that he has zero intention of returning imo

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9 minutes ago, Gene Loblaw said:

Usually media members are pretty coy about making predictions like that to protect themselves from criticism if they’re ever wrong. Even though we may have all heard rumblings of it, it’s pretty bold for a media member to just flat out say that he has zero intention of returning imo

actually, there were media reports, even as late as last week that said, those in Harper's camp, said he has no intentions of returning for his senior year. So this first statement only reinforced what had already been reported in print by media recently.

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Tough to call Javon just serviceable IMO. I thought he outplayed Harper much of the way through our SEC and NCAA tourney runs. He certainly won't replace everything that Harper did and we'll need other guys to step up but Javon was a beast to end last season and i expect him to keep that going into next season. I also really look forward to this turbo kid coming in......he'll give us a bit more size at the PG position then we've had recently

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1 minute ago, gravejd said:

Tough to call Javon just serviceable IMO. I thought he outplayed Harper much of the way through our SEC and NCAA tourney runs. He certainly won't replace everything that Harper did and we'll need other guys to step up but Javon was a beast to end last season and i expect him to keep that going into next season. I also really look forward to this turbo kid coming in......he'll give us a bit more size at the PG position then we've had recently

I think Javon, at least so far, plays at times just a little too much out of control. I also think, Harper is probably a better PG at understanding the offensive sets and how to get the ball to the right players for a better shot. 

One thing I have seen Javon definitely do BETTER than Harper, is his ability to score on the dribble. Harper, it seems unless he could get by a defender was going to get his layup blocked. Javon seem to have more ability to adjust his shot and get it in without the defender blocking it. Actually, there were times I said...how did that shot go in by Javon..😄

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This was a good discussion about a major issue......basketball and especially the SEC has become mostly about what the PG can do.   To a great extent we were up and down according to JH so leadership from that slot is important for the coming season.....and much as I like the credentials of our incoming guys, I hope our best PG is not a freshman.    I recall what JH did as a freshman and how much his development in the subsequent years meant to him and the team. 

JMO but JaMac will do the job well and we will barely skep a beat...though it would be nice to have a strong back-up.    Hated to see JH playing 35 minutes in most games and hoping BP has the opportunity to spread around the minutes a bit more. 

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Those who are hyping up J'Von need to realize we barely got a chance to see him play in over half a game. He started to come on biggggg time down the stretch and will FOREVER be grateful for what he did to save our asses in March. But I'm worried about him being the starter game in and game out logging ~30 mpg. Doesn't mean he can't do it and be effective, and an off-season in the program will be huuuge for him but I do think it's telling that in Bruce's quotes he did not mention J'Von once and skipped right over to Turbo Jones and even mentioned Samir playing some PG! Bruce doesn't trust J'Von you could see it all season long and it appears he still doesn't have trust in him. And it's been noted that Bruce yells at J'Von more than the other players so it just reinforces the lack of trust he has in J'Von.

Let's see how this shakes out because Bruce will bring out the best in J'Von. And even though it seems like I'm hating on him in this post I want to re-iterate that we do not make it to the Final Four or win the SEC Championship without J'Von McCormick.

Edited by Tiger
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I know it's sort of apples to oranges with J'Von coming from JUCO and Jared Harper coming from HS, but Jared was a much improved player in his 2nd year at Auburn.  Perhaps we'll see a similar improvement in J'Von.

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The thing about it is you have to take in account how is he going to play being a targeted scouted guy as opposed to a guy that nobody knew.....then on top of that he played well pretty much in the tournament, a very small sample size to declare he's good. And I'm still aggravated by samir but I can definitely see PG being a concern next year....

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I missed a lot during the first three quarters of the season. But when I saw JM I really liked JM. I won’t make any predictions or declarations but I look fed to him running the court. 

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5 hours ago, Tiger said:

Those who are hyping up J'Von need to realize we barely got a chance to see him play in over half a game. He started to come on biggggg time down the stretch and will FOREVER be grateful for what he did to save our asses in March. But I'm worried about him being the starter game in and game out logging ~30 mpg. Doesn't mean he can't do it and be effective, and an off-season in the program will be huuuge for him but I do think it's telling that in Bruce's quotes he did not mention J'Von once and skipped right over to Turbo Jones and even mentioned Samir playing some PG! Bruce doesn't trust J'Von you could see it all season long and it appears he still doesn't have trust in him. And it's been noted that Bruce yells at J'Von more than the other players so it just reinforces the lack of trust he has in J'Von.

Let's see how this shakes out because Bruce will bring out the best in J'Von. And even though it seems like I'm hating on him in this post I want to re-iterate that we do not make it to the Final Four or win the SEC Championship without J'Von McCormick.

Exactly. Folks thinking we wont miss a beat without Harper are crazy. The guy logged a ton of minutes and had to carry the team through a lot of games through a long year. Hes the best point guard in school history to date, hands down. I think we take a step back at the point this season. But, if it's not too large of a step and other players step up/ we improve in some areas, we could do well. I expect this year to be a slight step back to gear up for another run in 2 years. 

Edited by twilli13
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1 hour ago, cole256 said:

The thing about it is you have to take in account how is he going to play being a targeted scouted guy as opposed to a guy that nobody knew.....then on top of that he played well pretty much in the tournament, a very small sample size to declare he's good. And I'm still aggravated by samir but I can definitely see PG being a concern next year....

This. Its much harder to translate high quality play over a longer period of time than some I think are realizing. 

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There aren’t many players that can take over a game like jh did in the last minutes and overtime of some games!

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57 minutes ago, twilli13 said:

Exactly. Folks thinking we wont miss a beat without Harper are crazy. The guy logged a ton of minutes and had to carry the team through a lot of games through a long year. Hes the best point guard in school history to date, hands down. I think we take a step back at the point this season. But, if it's not too large of a step and other players step up/ we improve in some areas, we could do well. I expect this year to be a slight step back to gear up for another run in 2 years. 

I appreciate your enthusiasm....just that I don't agree with some of your assessment.  JH had a great season.....but he was not perfect.   Jamac is a quick guy and has a pretty good shot and has a year behind him.   I think we have much bigger problems than PG for next year. 

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PG is the most important position, it's the reason Harper had to play so many minutes. People over hyping McCormick is no different than somebody thinking DP will be our best player next year because he hit a few big shots in big games......PG is the biggest thing we have to replace that there doesn't seem to be any replacement for. That and we won't be as deep on the front court.

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8 hours ago, Tiger said:

Those who are hyping up J'Von need to realize we barely got a chance to see him play in over half a game. He started to come on biggggg time down the stretch and will FOREVER be grateful for what he did to save our asses in March. But I'm worried about him being the starter game in and game out logging ~30 mpg. Doesn't mean he can't do it and be effective, and an off-season in the program will be huuuge for him but I do think it's telling that in Bruce's quotes he did not mention J'Von once and skipped right over to Turbo Jones and even mentioned Samir playing some PG! Bruce doesn't trust J'Von you could see it all season long and it appears he still doesn't have trust in him. And it's been noted that Bruce yells at J'Von more than the other players so it just reinforces the lack of trust he has in J'Von.

Let's see how this shakes out because Bruce will bring out the best in J'Von. And even though it seems like I'm hating on him in this post I want to re-iterate that we do not make it to the Final Four or win the SEC Championship without J'Von McCormick.

We don't make it or win without a bunch of people. Without the big names or the guys like Spencer,DP, Wiley.....we played some close games. But you're not hating you are just being logical and you aren't attached to McCormick as a favorite player or anything. You can evaluate a player and not hate

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3 hours ago, AU64 said:

I appreciate your enthusiasm....just that I don't agree with some of your assessment.  JH had a great season.....but he was not perfect.   Jamac is a quick guy and has a pretty good shot and has a year behind him.   I think we have much bigger problems than PG for next year. 

What parts do you not agree with? I never said he was perfect, but name me a clearly better one in Au bball history. If you think JVons gonna easily replace him...well, let's revisit this thread after next year and I'll see if you want a do over on that one 😉

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48 minutes ago, cole256 said:

PG is the most important position, it's the reason Harper had to play so many minutes. People over hyping McCormick is no different than somebody thinking DP will be our best player next year because he hit a few big shots in big games......PG is the biggest thing we have to replace that there doesn't seem to be any replacement for. That and we won't be as deep on the front court.

Agreed on PG being the most important position. Especially in our offense. 

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I worry most about our PG as a distributor next year.  I’m hoping we have more consistent scoring from our 3 & 5 positions.  I don’t see our PG scoring 15 per game next year.  Jvon did great with his speed not necessarily his passing.  Every player was crucial at some point during the year.  CBP is gonna have to build the next team differently - but it’ll require 10 players to contribute.

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I'm not going to start preaching but it's like many of us like to set ourselves up to be disappointed at times....in this case if you feel that losing Harper will be minimal, you don't understand how good he was or you take a snippet of somebody having a moment and don't think about how hard it is to be consistent in high level sports. 

I can tell you one thing that you can count on I guarantee, he can't shoot like Harper and Brown is gone as well....spacing will be completely different for McCormick. They didn't focus on him at all, last year. He was 4th option at best, total different animal when you are running the show.....I'm not sure he even starts tbh.

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Still think there’s a 75% or greater chance we’re getting Cooper to reclassify. Just gotta wait it out. Let the child create doubt so we’re all surprised for his announcement. And if that happens, then next season’s starting five would be AU most talented starting lineup (by star value and crootin rankings) of all time

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8 hours ago, twilli13 said:

What parts do you not agree with? I never said he was perfect, but name me a clearly better one in Au bball history. If you think JVons gonna easily replace him...well, let's revisit this thread after next year and I'll see if you want a do over on that one 😉

Not disagreeing that JH was one of our best all time Auburn PGs and he definitely thrived under BP's system.  Was noting that JaMc is /or could be as good in the same system.  He's a better shooter, and had a better TO/Steal ratio this past season and was a pretty good finisher.  .    As I opined,  PG next season is in better shape than several other situations...at least as it appears now.  

Replacing BB's points and effort is the big issue and of course Spencer had great intangible value as did Dunbar.   When things got sluggish, just send in Spencer and Dunbar ..and good or bad,, the pace of the game picked up and everyone worked harder.  Also,  I don't know what is gonna happen with Okeke.   So the big question for me is.....who is gonna score the points and play defense ?    DP had a few hot moments but I'm still waiting on him to be able to play 20 or 30 minutes every game and play some reasonable defense. 

 So per my earlier opinion, replacing JH is the least of the problems for next season..... We can get enthused about incoming players but until they have been up against SEC level competition, it's hard to know what they might do.  

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