2017–18 Auburn Tigers men's basketball team

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2017–18 Auburn Tigers men's basketball
Auburn Tigers logo.svg
SEC regular season co-champions
NCAA Tournament, Second Round
Conference Southeastern Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 23
AP No. 19
2017–18 record 26–8 (13–5 SEC)
Head coach Bruce Pearl (4th season)
Assistant coach Harris Adler
Assistant coach Steven Pearl
Home arena Auburn Arena
Seasons
2017–18 Southeastern Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
No. 19 Auburn 13 5   .722     26 8   .765
No. 13 Tennessee 13 5   .722     26 9   .743
No. 23 Florida 11 7   .611     21 13   .618
No. 18 Kentucky 10 8   .556     26 11   .703
Missouri 10 8   .556     20 13   .606
Arkansas 10 8   .556     23 12   .657
Mississippi State 9 9   .500     25 12   .676
Texas A&M 9 9   .500     22 13   .629
Alabama 8 10   .444     20 16   .556
LSU 8 10   .444     18 15   .545
Georgia 7 11   .389     18 15   .545
South Carolina 7 11   .389     17 16   .515
Vanderbilt 6 12   .333     12 20   .375
Ole Miss 5 13   .278     12 20   .375
2018 SEC Tournament winner
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2017–18 Auburn Tigers men's basketball team represented Auburn University during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. The team's head coach was Bruce Pearl in his fourth season at Auburn. The team played their home games at the Auburn Arena in Auburn, Alabama. They finished the season 26–8, 13–5 in SEC play to finish in a tie for the SEC regular season championship with Tennessee. As the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament they were upset in the quarterfinals by No. 9 seed Alabama. They received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated College of Charleston in the First Round before losing in the Second Round to Clemson.

Previous season[edit]

The Tigers finished the 2016–17 season 18–14, 7–11 in SEC play to finish in 11th place. They lost in the first round of the SEC Tournament to Missouri.

FBI investigation[edit]

On September 26, 2017, federal prosecutors in New York announced charges of fraud and corruption against 10 people involved in college basketball, including Auburn associate head coach Chuck Person.[1] The charges allege that Person and others allegedly received benefits from financial advisers and others to influence student-athletes to retain their services.[2] Shortly thereafter, the school suspended Person without pay.[3] Person was indicted by a federal grand jury and subsequently fired by Auburn on November 7, 2017.[4]

Before Auburn's exhibition game on November 2, 2017, the school announced that it would hold players Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy out of games indefinitely due to eligibility concerns raised over the FBI investigation.[5] On January 12, 2018, the NCAA ruled that Wiley would regain his eligibility in the 2018–19 season, ruling him ineligible for the remainder of the 2017–18 season.[6]

Offseason[edit]

Departures[edit]

Name Number Pos. Height Weight Year Hometown Reason for departure
T. J. Dunans 4 G 6'5" 174 RS Senior Atlanta, GA Graduated
LaRon Smith 12 F 6'8" 215 RS Senior Palm Bay, FL Graduated
T. J. Lang 23 G 6'7" 210 Junior Mobile, AL Transferred to South Florida
Mike Cohen 25 G 5'10" 175 Freshman Voorhees, NJ Walk-on; didn't return
Devin Waddell 31 F 6'5" 225 Senior Summerfield, NC Graduated
Ronnie Johnson 35 G 6'0" 180 RS Senior Indianapolis, IN Graduated

Incoming transfers[edit]

Name Number Pos. Height Weight Year Hometown Previous School
Malik Dunbar 14 G/F 6'6" 225 Junior North Augusta, SC Junior college transferred College of Central Florida
Samir Doughty 20 G 6'4" 185 RS Sophomore Philadelphia, PA Transferred from VCU. Under NCAA transfer rules, Doughty will have to sit out for the 2017–18 season. Will have three years of remaining eligibility.

2017 recruiting class[edit]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Chuma Okeke
SF
Fairburn, GA Westlake High School 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Jul 24, 2016 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports:4/5 stars    ESPN:4/5 stars
Davion Mitchell
PG
Hinesville, GA Liberty County School 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Oct 15, 2016 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports:4/5 stars    ESPN:4/5 stars
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 21   Rivals: 11  ESPN: 28
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

Roster[edit]

2017–18 Auburn Tigers men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Previous school Hometown
F 0 Horace Spencer 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Jr Findlay Prep Warminster, PA
G 1 Jared Harper 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 170 lb (77 kg) So Pebblebrook Mableton, GA
G 2 Bryce Brown 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 198 lb (90 kg) Jr Tucker Stone Mountain, GA
F 3 Danjel Purifoy 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 230 lb (104 kg) RS So Hargrave Military Academy Centerville, AL
F 4 Chuma Okeke 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Fr Westlake Atlanta, GA
G 5 Mustapha Heron 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 218 lb (99 kg) So Martin Luther King Jr.
Sacred Heart
Waterbury, CT
G 10 Davion Mitchell 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Fr Liberty County Hinesville, GA
G 12 Devontae Williams (W) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 215 lb (98 kg) So Opp Opp, AL
F 13 DeSean Murray 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 225 lb (102 kg) RS Jr Northside
Presbyterian
Stanley, NC
G/F 14 Malik Dunbar 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Jr Spring Valley
College of Central Florida
North Augusta, SC
G 20 Samir Doughty (I) Current redshirt 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 187 lb (85 kg) RS So Mathematics, Civics & Science Charter
VCU
Philadelphia, PA
G 21 Patrick Keim 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 186 lb (84 kg) Sr Mountain Brook Birmingham, AL
G 22 Will Macoy (W) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) So Vestavia Hills Birmingham, AL
G 23 Jaylan Gaither (W) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) So Hoover Alès, France
F 24 Anfernee McLemore 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) So Worth County Warwick, GA
F 41 Cole Blackstock (W) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 260 lb (118 kg) Jr Brooks Killen, AL
F 44 Heath Huff (W) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 250 lb (113 kg) RS Fr Lee Scott Academy Auburn, AL
C 50 Austin Wiley 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 260 lb (118 kg) So Spain Park Hoover, AL
F 52 Trey Tate (W) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Jr Rehobeth Dothan, AL
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Roster

Schedule and results[edit]

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record High points High rebounds High assists Site (attendance)
city, state
Exhibition
November 2, 2017*
7:00 pm
Barry L 95–100 OT  
 21  Heron   8  Murray   7  Harper  Auburn Arena (6,374)
Auburn, AL
Non-conference regular season
November 10, 2017*
7:00 pm, SECN+
Norfolk State W 102–74  1–0
 31  Brown   7  Tied   5  Heron  Auburn Arena (7,419)
Auburn, AL
November 16, 2017*
10:30 am, ESPNU
vs. Indiana State
Charleston Classic quarterfinals
W 83–64  2–0
 15  Brown   12  Murray   7  Harper  TD Arena (2,136)
Charleston, SC
November 17, 2017*
10:00 am, ESPN2
vs. Temple
Charleston Classic semifinals
L 74–88  2–1
 19  McLemore   11  Murray   7  Harper  TD Arena (1,970)
Charleston, SC
November 19, 2017*
6:00 pm, ESPNU
vs. Hofstra
Charleston Classic 3rd place game
W 89–78  3–1
 22  Heron   6  Tied   3  Mitchell  TD Arena (2,263)
Charleston, SC
November 24, 2017*
6:00 pm, SECN
Winthrop W 119–85  4–1
 31  Heron   10  Heron   7  Harper  Auburn Arena (7,197)
Auburn, AL
November 29, 2017*
6:00 pm, CBSSN
at Dayton
Charleston Classic non-bracket game
W 73–60  5–1
 21  Heron   14  McLemore   3  Harper  UD Arena (13,125)
Dayton, OH
December 3, 2017*
2:00 pm, SECN+
George Mason W 79–63  6–1
 19  Heron   10  McLemore   3  Tied  Auburn Arena (6,164)
Auburn, AL
December 6, 2017*
7:00 pm, SECN+
Gardner–Webb W 80–55  7–1
 20  Murray   11  McLemore   10  Harper  Auburn Arena (6,232)
Auburn, AL
December 9, 2017*
3:30 pm, SECN
UAB
Rivalry
W 85–80  8–1
 27  Brown   9  McLemore   5  Harper  Auburn Arena (7,565)
Auburn, AL
December 16, 2017*
5:00 pm, SECN
vs. Middle Tennessee
BHM JAM
W 76–70  9–1
 16  Tied   7  Spencer   7  Harper  Legacy Arena (7,209)
Birmingham, AL
December 19, 2017*
7:00 pm, OVCDN
at Murray State W 81–77  10–1
 18  Murray   9  Murray   4  Harper  CFSB Center (6,478)
Murray, KY
December 23, 2017*
1:30 pm, ESPN2
Connecticut W 89–64  11–1
 13  Tied   10  Spencer   7  Harper  Auburn Arena (8,039)
Auburn, AL
December 30, 2017*
2:30 pm, SECN
Cornell W 98–77  12–1
 19  Brown   10  Okeke   7  Harper  Auburn Arena (8,493)
Auburn, AL
SEC regular season
January 2, 2018
6:00 pm, ESPNU
at No. 23 Tennessee W 94–84  13–1
(1–0)
 18  Tied   9  Tied   4  Okeke  Thompson–Boling Arena (14,755)
Knoxville, TN
January 6, 2018
5:00 pm, ESPNU
No. 22 Arkansas W 88–77  14–1
(2–0)
 17  Heron   8  Murray   8  Harper  Auburn Arena (8,950)
Auburn, AL
January 9, 2018
8:00 pm, ESPNU
No. 22 Ole Miss W 85–70  15–1
(3–0)
 16  Murray   9  McLemore   4  Harper  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
January 13, 2018
2:30 pm, SECN
No. 22 at Mississippi State W 76–68  16–1
(4–0)
 23  Brown   9  Murray   4  Harper  Humphrey Coliseum (8,443)
Starkville, MS
January 17, 2018
6:00 pm, SECN
No. 17 at Alabama
Iron Bowl of Basketball
L 71–76  16–2
(4–1)
 12  Brown   10  Murray   5  Mitchell  Coleman Coliseum (15,383)
Tuscaloosa, AL
January 20, 2018
5:00 pm, SECN
No. 17 Georgia W 79–65  17–2
(5–1)
 28  Brown   8  McLemore   6  Harper  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
January 24, 2018
8:00 pm, SECN
No. 19 at Missouri W 91–73  18–2
(6–1)
 21  Harper   12  Heron   6  Harper  Mizzou Arena (15,061)
Columbia, MO
January 27, 2018
5:00 pm, SECN
No. 19 LSU W 95–70  19–2
(7–1)
 21  Heron   9  Heron   8  Harper  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
January 30, 2018
8:00 pm, SECN
No. 11 at Ole Miss W 79–70  20–2
(8–1)
 23  Brown   10  Murray   7  Harper  The Pavilion at Ole Miss (8,043)
Oxford, MS
February 3, 2018
7:30 pm, SECN
No. 11 Vanderbilt W 93–81  21–2
(9–1)
 25  Brown   5  Tied   14  Harper  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
February 7, 2018
8:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 8 Texas A&M L 80–81  21–3
(9–2)
 28  Heron   4  Tied   8  Harper  Auburn Arena (7,631)
Auburn, AL
February 10, 2018
2:30 pm, SECN
No. 8 at Georgia W 78–61  22–3
(10–2)
 24  Harper   7  Murray   7  Harper  Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)
Athens, GA
February 14, 2018
8:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 10 Kentucky W 76–66  23–3
(11–2)
 18  Tied   11  Tied   7  Harper  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
February 17, 2018
2:30 pm, SECN
No. 10 at South Carolina L 75–84  23–4
(11–3)
 16  Heron   9  Okeke   2  Okeke  Colonial Life Arena (14,995)
Columbia, SC
February 21, 2018
7:30 pm, SECN
No. 12 Alabama
Iron Bowl of Basketball
W 90–71  24–4
(12–3)
 21  Harper   10  Okeke   6  Harper  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
February 24, 2018
7:30 pm, SECN
No. 12 at Florida L 66–72  24–5
(12–4)
 22  Heron   10  Okeke   5  Brown  O'Connell Center (10,503)
Gainesville, FL
February 27, 2018
8:00 pm, SECN
No. 14 at Arkansas L 82–91  24–6
(12–5)
 28  Heron   10  Okeke   5  Harper  Bud Walton Arena (15,733)
Fayetteville, AR
March 3, 2018
2:30 pm, SECN
No. 14 South Carolina W 79–70  25–6
(13–5)
 29  Brown   9  Okeke   8  Harper  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
SEC Tournament
March 9, 2018
12:00 pm, ESPN
(1) No. 16 vs. (9) Alabama
Quarterfinals
L 63–81  25–7
 18  Heron   8  Murray   4  Harper  Scottrade Center (16,364)
St. Louis, MO
NCAA Tournament
March 16, 2018
6:27 pm, truTV
(4 MW) No. 19 vs. (13 MW) College of Charleston
First Round
W 62–58  26–7
 16  Heron   9  Okeke   2  Tied  Viejas Arena (10,092)
San Diego, CA
March 18, 2018
6:10 pm, TBS
(4 MW) No. 19 vs. (5 MW) No. 20 Clemson
Second Round
L 53–84  26–8
 12  Tied   9  Spencer   3  Okeke  Viejas Arena (11,628)
San Diego, CA
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses. MW=Midwest.
All times are in Central Time.

Rankings[edit]

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Final 
AP RV RV RV 22 17 19 11 8 10 12 14 16 19 
Coaches RV RV 24 20 19 13 9 11 13 15 21 23

*AP does not release post-NCAA tournament rankings

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NCAA coaches among 10 arrested for corruption". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-09-26. 
  2. ^ "FBI arrests four college basketball assistants on charges of fraud". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-09-26. 
  3. ^ "Chuck Person suspended without pay following arrest; university 'saddened, angry'". AL.com. Retrieved 2017-10-10. 
  4. ^ "Chuck Person indicted by federal grand jury, fired by Auburn". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  5. ^ "Auburn holding out Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley indefinitely amid FBI probe". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2017-11-02. 
  6. ^ rpowell (2018-01-11). "Wiley eligible for 2018-19 season". NCAA.org - The Official Site of the NCAA. Retrieved 2018-01-12.