No. 11 Auburn gets reinforcements to build on big season
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — No. 11 Auburn opens the season with every reason for sunny optimism instead of last year's dark cloud of concern.
Not only do star guards Bryce Brown and Jared Harper return but so do 6-foot-11 center Austin Wiley and forward Danjel Purifoy, both of whom were forced to sit out last season for NCAA rules violations .
Auburn center Austin Wiley puts name in NBA draft pool
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn center Austin Wiley has put his name into the NBA draft pool after being held out last season but doesn't plan to hire an agent.
Wiley announced his decision Tuesday, becoming the third player to declare for the draft from the Tigers, who shared the Southeastern Conference regular season title with Tennessee. He has until June 11 to withdraw his name if he doesn't hire an agent.
Auburn’s Purifoy must sit out 30 percent of next season
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn forward Danjel Purifoy will be eligible to play most of next season.
The university said Tuesday the NCAA ruled that Purifoy must sit out the first 30 percent of the season before returning. Both Purifoy and center Austin Wiley missed all of the Tigers' run to a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season title and the NCAA Tournament.
Scandal-tinged Auburn faces Charleston in Midwest Region
SAN DIEGO (AP) — No. 4 seed Auburn (25-7) vs. No. 13 seed College of Charleston (26-7)
First round, Midwest Region; San Diego, Friday, approximately 7:27 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Auburn leads the series 3-0 and is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.
Harper, Okeke lead No. 12 Auburn to 90-71 win over Alabama
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Auburn Tigers found a way to win without two key players.
That's nothing new.
Jared Harper scored 21 points, freshman Chuma Okeke had career-highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds and No. 12 Auburn beat rival Alabama 90-71 Wednesday night even without ailing star Mustapha Heron and injured Anfernee McLemore.
"I just knew I had to step up with two of our teammates down," Okeke said.
NCAA denies Auburn’s appeal of Austin Wiley ruling
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The NCAA has denied Auburn's appeal of a ruling declaring center Austin Wiley ineligible for the rest of the season.
Auburn spokesman Kirk Sampson confirmed the NCAA's decision on Monday.
NCAA rules Auburn center Austin Wiley ineligible for season
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The NCAA has ruled Auburn center Austin Wiley ineligible for the rest of the season.
The governing body announced Thursday in a news release that Wiley will be eligible next season. The NCAA says Auburn self-reported violations involving recruiting, extra benefits and agent-related activity.
Brown, Auburn hold off UAB 85-80 for 6th straight win
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — With Auburn down yet another key player, Bryce Brown and Jared Harper helped the Tigers build big leads and then hold on.
Brown finished with 27 points and Harper made 3 of 4 free throws over the final 27 seconds to lead the Tigers to an 85-80 win over UAB on Saturday.
Auburn (8-1) won its sixth straight game even with Mustapha Heron out with back problems, joining already sidelined Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy. His replacement Malik Dunbar came up with some key plays, too.
Auburn set to make road trip without Wiley, Purifoy
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Auburn basketball team is set to make its first road trip without two top players and a pair of support staffers.
Coach Bruce Pearl said Tuesday center Austin Wiley and forward Danjel Purifoy aren't scheduled to travel to the Charleston Classic Wednesday morning. He says their status "could change in a moment's notice."
Brown leads Auburn to 102-74 opening win over Norfolk State
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Bryce Brown and the Auburn Tigers found some relief on the court.
Brown scored a career-high 31 points and Auburn opened the season with a 102-74 victory over Norfolk State Friday night in a matchup of teams missing two of their top players. For 40 minutes, Auburn's focus was solely on hoops.
The Tigers (1-0) weathered the absence of center Austin Wiley and forward Danjel Purifoy with the help of Brown's 23-point first half. The game came after a troubling couple of months.
Auburn sits Wiley, Purifoy indefinitely during investigation
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn will hold out sophomores Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy indefinitely in connection with a federal investigation into associate head coach Chuck Person.
The athletic department sent out a statement Thursday announcing the decision was made "to avoid any potential eligibility issues." Wiley and Purifoy are two of the Tigers' top players.
Auburn Preview Capsule
Last season: 18-14, lost to Missouri in first round of SEC tournament
Coach: Bruce Pearl
Who's gone: G T.J. Dunans (8.2 ppg, 2nd in assists); G Ronnie Johnson (7.8 ppg, 3rd in assists).
Who's back: G Mustapha Heron led team in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) last season; F Danjel Purifoy averaged 11.5 points and led team with 59 3-pointers; C Austin Wiley (8.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg); G Jared Harper (11.4 ppg, team-high 95 assists).
Pearl: Auburn program strong after disappointing season
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn coach Bruce Pearl feels his program "is in really, really good shape" following a season marked both by progress and disappointing defeats.
Heron leads Auburn to 89-78 win over Missouri
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Mustapha Heron scored 20 points to lead Auburn to an 89-78 victory Saturday over Missouri in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Auburn (18-13, 7-11 Southeastern Conference) built a 20-point lead in the first half and shot a season-best 56.1 percent.
Heron missed only his seventh and final shot and made all three of his 3-point attempts to help hand Missouri (7-23, 2-16) its sixth straight loss. The two teams will meet again in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
Auburn beats UConn 70-67 in overtime for 10th win
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Auburn coach Bruce Pearl says point guard Jared Harper proves there is still room for the little guy in the game of basketball.
Harper scored 22 points, including a key layup in overtime and Auburn won its fourth consecutive game, 70-67 over UConn on Friday afternoon.
Connecticut native Mustapha Heron added 15 points and Danjel Purifoy had a career-high 15 rebounds for the Tigers, who are 10-2 for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Dunans buzzer-beater lifts Auburn past Mercer 76-74
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The play didn't come off precisely as Auburn drew it up, but T.J. Dunans made it turn out perfectly, anyway.
Dunans hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer off an inbounds pass to lift Auburn to a 76-74 victory over Mercer on Sunday.
"I knew it was going in," he said. "The way I shot, I knew it was going in."
Purifoy, hot-shooting Auburn rout Coastal Carolina, 117-72
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Jared Harper buried a 3-pointer on Auburn's first shot of the night, and the Tigers never stopped hitting them.
With Danjel Purifoy scoring 27 points, a short-handed Auburn team tied the Southeastern Conference record with 21 3-pointers in a 117-72 victory Thursday night over Coastal Carolina.
Young Auburn squad defeats UAB 74-70 in first road test
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — In its first true road test with a young team, Auburn passed with flying colors.
Jared Harper scored 21 points and Danjel Purifoy added 16 to lead Auburn to a 74-70 victory over UAB on Saturday night.
The young Tigers (6-1) proved capable of handling a hostile environment in their first true road game of the season, outlasting UAB (4-4) in front of the first sellout crowd at Bartow Arena since March 23, 2010.
Auburn beats Eastern Kentucky 85-64 behind Heron
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Mustapha Heron had his first career double-double — 24 points and 10 rebounds — Danjel Purifoy scored 16 points, and Auburn beat Eastern Kentucky 85-64 Thursday night in a Cancun Challenge game.
Heron shouldered the load, but Auburn needed a team effort to keep its season-opening win streak alive.
Purifoy scores 17 in 2nd half, Auburn beats Georgia State
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Danjel Purifoy and Jared Harper each scored 19 points, Horace Spencer added 12 points and Auburn topped Georgia State 83-65 on Monday night in the opening round of the Cancun Challenge.
Auburn (2-0) pulled away in the second half as its shooting, which had been an issue in the first 20 minutes, picked up. They shot 56 percent in the second half to put away the Panthers, who were undone by a combination of turnovers and cold shooting.
Auburn hits 13 3-pointers in 83-66 win over North Florida
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Bryce Brown scored 19 points, freshman Danjel Purifoy added 14 points and Auburn hit 13 3-pointers in an 83-66 victory over North Florida on Friday night in a season opener for both teams.
Freshmen Mustafa Heron and Jared Harper each had 10 points for Auburn.
Pearl’s latest Auburn team has plenty of newcomers, mystery
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Bruce Pearl understands if you aren't sure what to expect from Auburn's basketball team.
Most of the roster is comprised of underclassmen and newcomers, including top recruit Mustapha Heron, redshirt freshman Danjel Purifoy and two graduate transfers.
Pearl has gotten used to the mystery created by newness since taking over the Auburn program three years ago.
Auburn Preview Capsule
Last season: 11-20, 5-13 SEC.
Coach: Bruce Pearl.
Who's gone: G Kareem Canty, F Cinmeon Bowers, F Tyler Harris.
Who's back: G T.J. Dunans averaged 11.6 points in 16 games before injuring his left knee; G Bryce Brown set an Auburn freshman record with 78 3-pointers; F Horace Spencer ranked third in the SEC in blocked shots.