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Steven Pearl Recognized


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Auburn's Steven Pearl earns 'most impactful assistant' recognition

ByNATHAN KING 11 minutes ago
 
 

Will Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero get selected with No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft?

 
 
 
 

Bruce Pearl often credits much of the sustained success for his Auburn program to a strong and cohesive assistant coaching staff — not the least of which is his son.

Steven Pearl, who just wrapped up his fifth season as an assistant coach for the Tigers, was named one of 50 most impact high-major assistants in college basketball by Silver Waves, which annually highlights the top assistants in the nation on both the high- and mid-major levels.

"Pearl has been a massive influence to the Tigers monumental rebuild," the release wrote. "On the bench, Pearl is responsible for scouting, defensive strategies, and in-game adjustments. Off the court, Pearl is a huge influence in player development and recruiting. In recent years, the Auburn Tigers’ basketball program has established themselves as an NBA prospect producer and banner hanger. Auburn became one of four major programs to record three consecutive 25-win seasons, joining Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky. Pearl has been a massive contributor to the development of NBA prospects Jabari Smith, Walker Kessler, Sharife Cooper, Isaac Okoro, JT Thor, and Chuma Okeke.

 

"... Auburn also won the SEC Tournament in 2019, and the SEC regular season title in ‘18 and ‘22. Pearl was a four-year letter winner under his father at Tennessee. He helped the Vols to back-to-back SEC East Championships in 2008 and 2009."

Steven joined Auburn’s staff when Bruce was hired, first contributing in a support role, as director of operations and an assistant strength coach. He became one of his dad’s three assistant coaches prior to the 2017-18 season — where Auburn won its first SEC championship in 19 years and made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years. Steven's been a part of three SEC championships and six NCAA tournament wins, including the program's first-ever Final Four appearance in 2019.

A 2006 recruit, Steven played in 101 games at Tennessee while Bruce was the head coach.

This past season, Steven notched the first head-coaching win of his career. Bruce served a two-game suspension as part of the NCAA's penalties toward the program in December. Assistant Wes Flanigan coached the first of the two games — a win over Nebraska at a neutral site in Atlanta — and Steven finished things off with a 70-44 home win over UNA.

 

"We have the best staff in the country," Steven said after the win. "We knew what we had to do. We took it in stride and relied on each other."

According to Auburn media relations, it marked the fourth time in Division-I college basketball that a son has taken over coaching duties in a game for his father during a season (Bob and Pat Knight at Indiana for 11 games; Eddie and Sean Sutton at Oklahoma State for nine games; and Charlie and Jay Spoonhour at UNLV for 10 games).

Next year, Auburn will have the same core of coaches on the bench — assistants Pearl, Flanigan and Ira Bowman, along with support staffers Chad Prewett, Marquis Daniels and Mike Burgomaster — for the fourth straight season.

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Just now, toddc said:

Auburn became one of four major programs to record three consecutive 25-win seasons, joining Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky.

Didn’t know that! Are we a “Blue Blood ”  basketball school now?

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8 hours ago, toddc said:

Didn’t know that! Are we a “Blue Blood ”  basketball school now?

Ha ha. It feels like it since Pearl has hit his stride. I wonder how many final fours would a team need to make to start getting into the conversation for that list? I don't think Duke was in it pre-Coach K. 

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11 minutes ago, HAPvsOA said:

Ha ha. It feels like it since Pearl has hit his stride. I wonder how many final fours would a team need to make to start getting into the conversation for that list? I don't think Duke was in it pre-Coach K. 

Yeah, but that was like 120 years ago..

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On 5/16/2022 at 10:10 AM, toddc said:

Didn’t know that! Are we a “Blue Blood ”  basketball school now?

Nope, just on a cool list with 3 of them. :laugh:

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