AUBURN —Allen Flanigan has returned to the Auburn men’s basketball team, head coach Bruce Pearl announced on Wednesday. Pearl had previously said in late September that Flanigan would be out indefinitely for “family, personal reasons.”
“Al is back, which is great,” Pearl said.
The 6-foot-6 small forward made his return during Auburn’s Pro Day, which had scouts from 28 NBA teams present to watch the team go through drills and scrimmage. The pro day was a showcase for the roster as a whole as well as for the team to gain more valuable experience, especially playing in front of scouts.
“Special day today, just a really special day today. In my, in my wildest dreams, would I think that we would have a pro day and have 28 of 30 clubs here,” Pearl said. “It's been that way, the last four or five years, and I just cannot take it for granted.”
Flanigan struggled during the Blue vs. White scrimmage, going 2-for-13 from the floor, but he was third on Auburn White with nine points and had the highest plus-minus on the team. He suffered an achilles injury shortly before the 2021 season began, and it hampered his start to the season.
Practice has been tough for the Tigers, sharing the facility with Auburn Volleyball during that team’s 16-1 start, but Pearl did have some positives to share.
“Wendell has been consistent. Wendell’s really been consistent,” Pearl said. “I like when maybe your hardest workers or one of your hardest workers is standing out and winning drills and things like that. KD, his effort has been more consistent.”
As Pearl builds his rotation ahead of the regular season, he will have a lot of work to do and a lot of production to replace. The Tigers lost Devan Cambridge to the transfer portal and the dynamic duo of Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler to the NBA draft.
“I would say that two out of the five spots, I know who's going to start right now,” Pearl said. “Two out of the five means three spots are still open.”
Auburn has some time to make those decisions, and with Chance Westry expected to return in around a month, the Tigers should be fully loaded by the season opener against George Mason on Nov. 7.
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