Bruce Pearl had himself one hell of a weekend.
On Friday, the former Tennessee head coach and current Auburn coach landed a commitment from four-star wing forward Danjel Purifoy. On Saturday, Pearl celebrated the final day of his show-cause penalty stemming from the infamous Aaron Craft barbecue. On Sunday, Horace Spencer, a four-star big man and one of the breakout performers of this summer, committed to the Tigers while on a visit to the campus.
Not bad, right?
Well, things got better on Monday, as T.J. Dunans committed to play for the Tigers, according to multiple reports. Dunans is a top five JuCo player in the class of 2015, according to JuCoRecruiting.com.
“The Auburn staff has been recruiting me for a long time and coach (Bruce) Pearl’s system will fit my style of play where I can blossom at a high level,” Dunans told JucoReport. “I have always wanted to play at a high level and the SEC is a great conference to showcase my skills and help Auburn get to the Final Four.”
Dunans averaged 22.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a freshman at Columbia State. The 6-foot-5 wing joins Purifoy and Spencer in Auburn’s 2015 class, which will be supplemented by Marshall transfer Kareem Canty, who becomes eligible in 2015-2016.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.