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Bruce Pearl gives season preview

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Bruce Pearl shares challenges and advantages Auburn faces for upcoming season

Updated Sep 25, 2019; Posted Sep 25, 2019

3 minutes

Thirty-seven days and four hours before Auburn basketball’s season kicks off, Bruce Pearl met with the media to give a preseason review.

In the 2018-2019 season, Auburn went 30-10. It won the SEC championship to Tennessee and then made it all the way to the final four before losing 63-62 to Virginia. Auburn returns seven seniors and two starters for the upcoming season.

Pearl said Auburn faces a unique challenge this year in terms of schedule as well as its age. The players are almost all seniors or newcomers, so they will have to balance experience with youth. Below is a recap of what Pearl said:


-- He’s entering his 41st year in college basketball, 25th year as a head coach. Can’t believe it. Especially can’t believe he’s third in seniority in the SEC.

-- He’s got an interesting challenge with a bunch of seniors and a bunch of freshman and not many in between.

-- The schedule is challenging and features some interesting opponents. Davidson is one of them. “No one schedules Davidson... Some great coaches and the team’s hard to guard.”

-- They’re in a series with South Alabama, which will be challenging.

-- The research for prostrate cancer at UAB is growing, and they’re helping it launch by playing there.

-- Best way to see Auburn play might be to buy tickets to an away game since there aren’t many seats in Auburn Arena.

-- As they start practice, they will see if they can build on some of the successes and failures they’ve already had. He’s already had to reteach some things. The learning curve is their biggest challenge.

-- He’s excited about their length and athleticism.

-- They have a veteran front line with Austin Wiley, Danjel Purifoy and Anfernee McLemore. The question is who will the other two be.

-- Danjel became one of the hardest workers in the offseason. He needs to be more assertive, though. He’s at the closest he’s been to being able to put his talent and work ethic together.

-- All the newcomers came with the knowledge that there’s a senior class in front of them. Some may see some time this year, but for all of them, this season is about getting ready for next year.

-- Freshman forward Isaac Okora is a “physically dominating player.” Said his number was retired at his high school. He will have to get over a mental hurdle when shooting the basketball, but he’s extremely coachable with a high basketball IQ.

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