AUBURN — Head basketball coach Bruce Pearl is preparing himself and his team heading into the upcoming season, which will be his 10th season with the Auburn Tigers.
Pro Day, an event that allows players to perform in front of NBA scouts, is a vital part of the preseason.
"There are a lot of things you want to try to get accomplished when you're running a basketball program," Pearl said. "We could've had Pro Day back in 2014... and we may not have gotten many guys to show up. To have 25-28 scouts show up over the last four or five years is great."
Pearl talked about what he has found impressive about the new players Auburn added this offseason.
"What's incredible is how much bigger the guys that have come in for the first time have gotten," Pearl said. "That's one thing that you notice in the sense that A.D. (Addarin Scott) or Chad Baker (Mazara). Chad Baker (Mazara) came in at 170 (lbs) he's 180 (lbs) now, and he could put 20 more on."
Denver Jones, a 6-foot-2 guard who transferred in from FIU, has put a lot of people on notice, and Pearl is no different.
"Denver (Jones) was a shooter primarily and a really good team player," Pearl said. "A great guy that could get to the elbow and pull up for a mid-range (jump shot). Now he's getting downhill, now he's getting to the rim, and he's elevating and finishing through contact."
Forward Johni Broome was a big part of Auburn's success last season. Pearl talked about the improvement he has seen from him.
"The biggest challenge for Johni is when does he go in and when does he go out?" Pearl said. "He's improved his perimeter shooting. Every time he takes a shot from the perimeter and doesn't make it, he's not in there rebounding... Obviously, I always want Johni to play quicker."
Freshman Aden Holloway and sophomore Tre Donaldson are expected to be leaders at the guard position for Auburn.
"They've both been really good offensively," Pearl said. "Aden is such a phenomenal shooter and definitely a gamer. He can make some one-on-one plays, and he's got something special in him. Tre has had a great offseason, a great summer, and a great... we're going to have a great point guard on the floor.
Auburn will start the season against Baylor on November 7 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT. and ESPN will carry the broadcast.
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