With Rutgers guard Jerome Seagears having a change of heart and deciding to return to New Brunswick after initially announcing his decision to transfer to Auburn, head coach Tony Barbee found himself in need of a guard.
On Wednesday the school announced that 6-3 guard Malcolm Canada, who played at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa last season, has been signed and will join the program for the 2013-14 season. Canada led his team in four different statistical categories last season: points (20.2 ppg), rebounds (5.8 rpg), assists (5.2 apg) and steals (1.6 spg).
According to Charles Goldberg of AuburnTigers.com, Canada was originally a Tulane signee but was released from his National Letter of Intent after being told that he completed his coursework too late. Canada will join freshman Tahj Shamsid-Deen as the two options Barbee has to choose from at the point in 2013-14.
Unlike Seagears, who would have needed a waiver from the NCAA in order to be eligible to play immediately, there isn’t any doubt that Canada will be able to take the floor when practices begin in October. And given the fact that Auburn lacks depth at the point guard position, the Tigers could have been in dire straits had Seagears remained but had his request to play immediately denied.
Auburn is certain (at this stage) to have seven newcomers joining the program this summer, and there’s also the question of what happens with 6-6 small forward Jeremy Johnson. During his recruitment Johnson was hopeful that he would be able to play both basketball and football at some point, but as of late-May he was in competition for the starting quarterback job.
“Not now,” Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn said according to Joel A. Erickson of AL.com when asked about the possibility in May. “He’s fighting for the starting quarterback job right now, so we haven’t had that conversation.”
If Johnson doesn’t join the basketball program (he counts as a football scholarship) Barbee would have seven newcomers to work into the program.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.