The upcoming Israel tour will be unlike anything you've ever seen from Auburn basketball
Four new players. Oversized rotations. Professional opponents. Four quarters and 24-second shot clocks. Fans are about to get a completely fresh look at the Tigers.
C Johni Broome (@AuburnMBB on Twitter)
Don’t expect Bruce Pearl to figure out his new starting five next week in Israel.
In fact, don’t expect him to have a regular lineup at all.
He’s using the on-court side of the inaugural “Birthright for College Basketball” tour to experiment. Auburn will have a new-look frontcourt and a familiar cast of characters in the backcourt, yet he’s still plugging in talented newcomers into that side of his squad.
Some expected key players, such as Allen Flanigan and Jaylin Williams, have been with Pearl for a long time now. Others like Wendell Green Jr., Zep Jasper and K.D. Johnson are trying to build off of their debut SEC championship seasons. And then there’s the talented quartet of Yohan Traore, Johni Broome, Chance Westry and Tre Donaldson — who just got here.
It’s a mix of playing styles and experience levels that could very well create Pearl’s deepest roster yet on the Plains. But it’s one that’s still in the early days of working things out with one another.
“I want to start somebody different every game,” Pearl said Monday afternoon. “I’m not trying to determine who my best players are right this second. We’ve only had a summer. … We’ve got to put this thing together. And if I start deciding who’s who in the zoo right now, that’s not fair.
“I’ve got August, I’ve got September, I’ve got October — I’ve got plenty of time for those guys to show me who they can be, including on this trip.”
What Auburn will showcase on the SEC Network during this three-game tour, which officially starts this weekend and opens with a matchup against the Israel U20s in Jerusalem next Tuesday, will be a lot different than what you can expect to see inside the Arena this winter.