Offseason Observations: Allen Flanigan, Auburn's final scholarship spot and noncon scheduling
The next step in what Auburn basketball does next in a busy offseason hinges on a senior's decision. Bruce Pearl talked about that — and much more — on Monday.
SF Allen Flanigan (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
The next step in Auburn basketball’s busy offseason will hinge on what Allen Flanigan does next.
The small forward is expected to return to school for his senior season, but he’s taking full advantage of an early entrance into the 2022 NBA Draft process. Flanigan was invited to last week’s G League Elite Camp and, according to Bruce Pearl, has “a couple more workouts” this week before he makes his decision.
Unlike their counterparts in football, college basketball players can enter the NBA Draft and later decide to return to school without losing their eligibility. The deadline for staying in the draft or going back to college is June 1, which could be an important date for the program — more on that later.
Flanigan played in two scrimmages during the G League camp in Chicago, where only a select few gained invitations to the upcoming NBA Draft Combine. Flanigan had nine points on 3-5 shooting (including 1-2 from deep), four rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes during the first scrimmage. In the second one, he had six points on 3-4 shooting, two rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes.
It was an efficient showing for Flanigan, who shot less than 50% from the field and a rough 20.5% from deep after returning from a major offseason Achilles injury during the middle of last season. Flanigan wasn’t able to reach the levels that made him a preseason All-SEC pick, but his trip to Chicago showed that the pro game is still very much interested in the physical wing.
“I think the experience was really good, and I think he wanted that experience as much as anything,” Pearl said Monday morning before his annual Fore The Kids charity golf event at Lake Martin. “He wanted to be able to get sort of a fresh starting point on where he is right now as it relates to the draft, as it relates to the competition. And I think he learned a lot at the combine; what he did well, what he needs to more of.”
Flanigan has a little more than a week left to make his final decision, and it sounds like he’s getting as much as he possibly can from the time in front of pro personnel.
“Can he move the needle in the last two workouts?” Pearl said. “We'll see, but I think the experience is going to be really good for him individually. And I think that's why you have this window where you're able to test the waters, but really learn as much as anything where you are, where the competition is and what needs to be done.”
Auburn is weighing all of its options with the last scholarship spot
That NBA Draft deadline could be an important time for Auburn basketball, which would have 12 scholarship players if Flanigan returns to school. Men’s college basketball teams get 13 scholarship spots.