By Greg Ostendorf
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn is coming off a season in which it made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003, and with Austin Wiley, Bryce Brown and Jared Harper all announcing their return to school, the early bracketology projections for the 2018-19 season have the Tigers as a lock to return to the Big Dance.
“It’s wonderful,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said Wednesday on the JOX Roundtable. “High expectations are a good thing. This is what you work for. This is what you want. Auburn men’s basketball is a preseason 3 seed. Auburn men’s basketball is a preseason top-20 team. Auburn’s men’s basketball team has been invited and will play in the Maui Invitational.
“It’s good to be relevant. It’s good to be competitive. And that’s the biggest thing I wanted to bring to Auburn basketball – just be competitive. You can’t be great unless you’re already good, and we haven’t been very good. Now we’re good, let’s see if we have a chance to be great.”
The non-conference schedule has yet to be released, but Auburn will play against one of the most competitive fields in Maui Invitational history with the likes of Arizona, Duke, Gonzaga and Xavier among the teams invited.
“It’s a great field,” Pearl said. “It will be all we can handle, but it will certainly get the kids very excited about getting started in training.”
Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: