By Grace Bolin, Auburn Media Relations
The foundation for Auburn basketball has been laid with help from Bruce Pearl and the seniors of this team. On Tuesday night, seniors Cinmeon Bowers, Jordon Granger, Tyler Harris, Cole Stockton and Jonathan Walker will step out on the floor in Auburn Arena for the last time this season against Texas A&M.
Bowers, who is scheduled to graduate in public administration this spring, transferred to Auburn from Chipola College with passion and determination. Under Pearl, Bowers has recorded 27 double-doubles in his two seasons, including 13 this year and five in the last seven games.
The Racine, Wis., native had 20 points and 18 rebounds in the win over Alabama and 19 points and 19 rebounds at Middle Tennessee. He has ranked second in the SEC in rebounding both of his seasons at Auburn.
Bowers has continued to excel on the court and has become a crowd favorite at Auburn Arena.
"I want to thank Auburn for giving me the opportunity to let me pursue my dreams and helping me become a man," said Bowers. "I also want to thank the fans and the energy they bring to the arena every night. I think we have the best fans in the country."
After losing 30 pounds prior to his senior season, Bowers athleticism became a huge asset to the team.
"My game transitioned a lot while I was here," Bowers said. "I became much stronger and more athletic thanks to Coach D (strength coach Damon Davis). Thanks to the entire staff for helping me develop a better game."
Bowers is averaging a double-double on the season with 11.0 points and ranks second in the SEC with 10.0 rebounds per game.
Granger has been with this team since his freshman year. Recruited out of McCluer North High School in Florissant, Mo., Granger was selected as the Missouri Player of the Year led McCluer North to a 31-1 record his senior year, and back-to-back state championships.
Granger played in 20 games as a freshman. Under Pearl, Granger's game developed, and soon he worked his way into the starting lineup, starting 33 games as a junior. Granger has been able to experience the transition of the Auburn basketball program, and has been a huge part of the foundation of this team.
"Coach Pearl taking over this team was such a positive change for all of us," said Granger. "It taught us to work harder not only on the court, but also in the classroom. Playing for Auburn has been such a great experience. I grew up a lot on this team. I was able to develop new skills and grow as a player, but I also got to meet some of my best friends and network and meet some great people in the industry."
Granger recently posted his first career double-double against Georgia where he recorded both career-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
"I just want to thank all of the fans for being there for us all season," said Granger. "Even after some tough losses, they continued to come out and support us. We have the best fans in the country, and we are all so grateful for all of their support."
Granger wants to play basketball overseas for a few years after graduating in public administration this spring. When he returns to the United States, he plans to become a financial advisor.
Harris started his basketball career at NC State as a freshman out of Dix Hills, N.Y, where he was ranked a four-star ESPN recruit and a Top 20 power forward as a high school senior. He then transferred to Providence where he started all 35 games as a sophomore, and played in 34 as a junior. He played in three-straight NCAA Tournaments. After graduating from Providence, Harris transferred to Auburn for his final season this year.
"The coaches here told me about the atmosphere and how I would always be able to call Auburn home," said Harris. "I feel like I will always be welcome here. It's a great place to be. The friends and relationships I made this past year helped me not only elevate my game, but also allowed me to grow as a person. The coaches, my teammates and the community here will always have a special place in my heart."
Harris's size and athleticism make him a hard cover, and he is ranked 20th in the SEC averaging 13.7 points and is ninth in the league with 7.7 rebounds per game. He is fourth in the SEC with eight double-doubles this season after not having one prior to coming to Auburn.
He had 23 points and 12 rebounds vs. Colorado and 21 points and 11 rebounds in the win vs. No. 13 Kentucky.
Auburn, Ala., native Cole Stockton started his basketball career at Auburn High School where he averaged 18 points as a senior helping the Tigers to a 20-12 season. He then played two years at Shelton State Community College.
Stockton joined the team in 2014 as a walk-on. Stockton has lettered two seasons at Auburn after walking-on, playing in 18 games. He totaled two points and a rebound at Florida this year and had a rebound vs. Vanderbilt. He scored a career-high three points at Texas A&M last year and played a career-high five minutes vs. Tulsa.
Stockton has a dual major in biomedical sciences and health services administration and plans on attending medical school.
Walker followed in his father's footsteps when he walked on to the track team his sophomore year at Auburn where he was a sprinter and a long jumper. However, the Madison, Ala., native also has a passion for basketball.
After two seasons with Auburn track and field, Walker walked-on to the basketball team under Pearl as a scout team member. He scored a career-high three points at Georgia and Vanderbilt on a pair of 3-pointers. He is shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. He is scheduled to graduate in economics this spring.
Four senior managers will be honored in Ryan Brown, Crawford Burton, Braden Ladner and Brooks Ohman.
"It's always an emotional night for me," said Pearl. "This team, especially the seniors, has been through adversity of all kinds, fighting through injuries and tough losses. However, they have not lost their fight and will to win. The five seniors on this team have proven themselves to be leaders both on and off the court during their time at Auburn."