Auburn basketball tips off busy week at Toomer’s – The Auburn Plainsman - Techy Hunters


Thursday, October 7, 2021

Auburn basketball tips off busy week at Toomer’s – The Auburn Plainsman

With Tip-Off at Toomers and Auburn Pro-Day later in the week, Auburn basketball head coach Bruce Pearl met with the media to discuss his team’s big week on Tuesday.

Here is what he had to say:

Tip-Off at Toomer’s:

The Tip-Off at Toomer’s showcase is a relatively new idea for the city of Auburn and the basketball program. Started in 2019, the showcase is a fan-centric display put on in the middle of downtown Auburn. 

A basketball court is temporarily constructed at the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue, with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams competing in skill contests. 

This year’s Tip-Off is the first since 2019, with 2020’s Tip-Off canceled due to pandemic concerns, and will be held Thursday, Oct. 7. 

Pearl said this year, he asked his players if they wanted to do the event again. 

“It was a big deal to them,” Pearl said. “They loved it two years ago. They missed it last year. They wanted to do it. So we are full speed ahead.” 

Pearl noted that football head coach Bryan Harsin will be in attendance along with coach Johnnie Harris and her women’s team. 

“We are excited about it,” Pearl said. “We will do a dunk contest and some three-point shooting, but it is more about celebrating with our fans.”

In regards to any weather plans for inclement weather, Pearl said everyone will just have to wait and see.

“We are hoping that if it does rain some, it will then cut back on some basketball stuff we will do,” Pearl said. “That wouldn’t necessarily have to stop the downtown festival. We are going to do what we can to have it.”

Auburn Pro Day

Auburn Pro Day is an afternoon dedicated for Auburn’s NBA draft-eligible players to perform in front of NBA scouts and executives. Started four years ago, over 60 NBA scouts and executives have visited Auburn to see the school’s talent. Pro Day will be hosted Friday, October 8th.

“Right now, we have 28 of the 30 clubs,” Pearl said. “That is the most we have ever had. There is a chance the last two clubs will get here. There will be some GMs here and directors of scouting. Obviously, they are here to see our guys. It is awesome the NBA thinks that much of our program and our players.” 

Team Scrimmages

Pearl said last week that his team will be practicing in scrimmages and team-on-team drills in preparation for Auburn’s first games. Pearl was candid in his response on how his team has performed in those practices. 

“The scrimmages have gone well,” Pearl said. “We turn it over too much. We go too fast without the ball. We turn it over less when we run something.” 

Jabari Smith

Smith is Auburn basketball’s highest-rated recruit ever. As one of the NBA’s projected highest-drafted players, Pearl has already said that this will be his only season at Auburn. But while he is here, Pearl has been extremely impressed with Smith on and off the court.

“He decided he was going to go to college,” Pearl said. “He could have gone to the G-League, he could have gone overseas. For me, it is so much watching him experience Auburn, the best of Auburn. He is here five days a week, at 6:30 in the morning getting shots in. He is trying to be a pro. He is putting himself in the best position. He is working hard and putting himself in position for God to bless him.”

The freshman boasts a slender frame on his 6’10” body, but Pearl said he is already putting on loads of muscle. 

“He came here at 200,” Pearl said. “He is up to almost 225. You look at him and you could say he could put another 25 on and he can. That is a really good sign.” 

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