AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn basketball will hold its inaugural Pro Day for NBA general managers, front office personnel and scouts on Oct. 11 in Auburn Arena, head coach Bruce Pearl announced Thursday.
The Tigers are ranked 24th nationally in ESPN’s BPI ratings and return their most scoring (72.8 percent) and rebounding (65.8 percent) in 10 years from last year’s team that went 18-14 overall.
“Our job as coaches is to help our student-athletes achieve at the highest level,” said Pearl. “For our players, it does not get any higher than the NBA. Auburn basketball has had some great NBA players in Charles Barkley, Chuck Person, Chris Morris, John Mengelt and Marquis Daniels to name a few. We have some guys on this roster that will join them.”
Auburn was the only team in the country with its top four scorers being freshmen – Mustapha Heron 15.2 points per game, Jared Harper 11.5 ppg, Danjel Purifoy 11.4 ppg and Austin Wiley 8.8 ppg.
Heron became Auburn’s first Freshman All-SEC selection since 2007 after breaking an Auburn freshman record by scoring in double figures in his first 25 games. The Waterbury, Conn., native reached double figures in 30-of-31 games, was ninth in the SEC in scoring and led the team with 5.8 rebounds per game.
Wiley was the only player on the United States to average a double-double with 10.3 points and 10.9 rebounds as the team captain leading USA Basketball to medal in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, this past summer.
Purifoy, who scored a career-high 27 points vs. Boston College in Madison Square Garden, ranked sixth in the SEC in free throw pct. and 3-point field goals made per game, eighth in 3-point field goal pct. and ninth in steals.
Freshman Chuma Okeke, Georgia’s Mr. Basketball, was a finalist for USA Basketball’s U19 World Cup Team before sustaining an injury prior to the final roster being announced. Okeke was the only Tiger to average a double-double with 11.0 points and a team-high 12.5 rebounds in Auburn’s four-game Italy Tour in August.