Bruce Pearl looking for big things this season
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Bruce Pearl says it's time to build on Auburn's run in the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament. He'll have to do it with a new-look team that must replace 65 percent of its scoring, including SEC scoring leader KT Harrell.
"We're definitely still in the rebuilding process with our first full recruiting year under our belt," Pearl said during a midsummer SEC teleconference Monday. "I'm really excited by our class and how hard they've been working in the summer to come together as a group. We're probably going to have seven new players of the 13 guys on scholarship, so it's a really a rebuild for us."
Auburn lost Harrell, Antoine Mason, Malcolm Canada and K.C. Ross-Miller, contributors all. In their place will be point guard Kareem Canty, forward Tyler Harris, forward/center Horace Spencer, forward/guard T.J. Dunans, guard Bryce Brown, guard New Williams and forward Danjel Purifoy.
"We want to be able to play a little bit faster," Pearl said, and may do it with Canty, who received rave reviews in practice while sitting out last season.
Other news and notes:
• Pearl said big-man Cinmeon Bowers has lost "20-25 pounds and reshaped his body" and that "just talks about his discipline. He's changed the way he eats, he's changed the way he sleeps, he's changed the way he's trained, and just making progress maturing.
"I still think he's going to be a powerful player, and he's still an inside out player."
• Pearl said while he sees the historical significance of the Confederate flag, it shouldn't be flown in public areas. "When something is offensive to somebody, I think it's important that we recognize that and be sensitive to that and take the flag down."
Pearl said the focus should be on the American flag.
"Let's honor our flag, to fly our flag, and take better care and honor our flag more. So much is being made of the Confederate flag right now, and I get that, but with July 4th coming up, let's raise our flag, let's honor our flag and what it stands for. I understand the freedoms that our country enjoys."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine