Coming off of a season in which it won 26 games and a share of the SEC regular season title, the Auburn Tigers have enough talent to once again be a player both within the conference and nationally in 2018-19. However, depth at the point guard position was a bit of a concern even with starter Jared Harper back for his junior season.
Tuesday afternoon the Tigers received a needed boost to its depth, as Lee College (Texas) point guard J’Von McCormick announced that he will be joining the Auburn program. The 5-foot-11 McCormick, who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining, averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game as a sophomore.
Leading Lee College in both points and assists, McCormick shot 42.8 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three and 64.8 percent from the foul line.
Despite leading scorer Mustapha Heron’s decision to transfer to St. John’s, Auburn will still have two returning starters in the backcourt as both Harper and Bryce Brown are back after entering the NBA draft without hiring an agent. Also factoring into the perimeter rotation will be VCU transfer Samir Doughty, senior Malik Dunbar and junior forward Danjel Purifoy.
Purifoy, along with Austin Wiley, missed all of last season due to the FBI investigation that rocked college basketball and will have to sit out Auburn’s first nine games of the 2018-19 season before regaining eligibility.
Even with those options — Doughty has the versatility needed to fill multiple roles on the perimeter — adding another player who can man the point was something Bruce Pearl and his staff needed to do this summer if possible. Adding McCormick means that Harper, who played 30.6 minutes per game last season, will have additional help in handling the point guard responsibilities.
And given the depth that expected SEC contenders such as Kentucky, Mississippi State and Tennessee boast, Auburn could ill-afford to go into the season with just one bonafide option at the point.