How Auburn basketball's new-look roster might change the Tigers' defensive DNA

Auburn basketball got taller in the frontcourt and feistier in the backcourt this offseason. How is Bruce Pearl going to put it all together?

PG/SG Zep Jasper (@AuburnMBB on Twitter)

Five years ago, college basketball officials changed certain rule interpretations and emphasized the freedom of movement for offensive players and how tightly defenses could defend them.

Buzzwords like “the cylinder” were preached to coaches and their players. Hand checks and bumps were put under greater scrutiny. Foul calls increased, especially for teams that liked to use traps or double teams.

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl, whose teams had been known for their high-pressure defense throughout his career, made a point to call out the changes before the start of the 2016-17 season.

“The guys will allow me to play more full court,” Pearl said in September 2016. “The problem is the rules won't. We're going to play more full court. We're going to pick our spots to where we trap. We can't have contact in trapping areas where an offensive player makes a basketball play — dribbling, passing or shooting. Otherwise that contact is going to get called on …

This post is for paid subscribers