Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles previewing this season’s Auburn basketball team.
AUBURN, Alabama–When Auburn opens the regular season on Nov. 7th vs. George Mason University the Tigers will do it with a roster than has a significant amount of collegiate experience. Bruce Pearl and his staff are coaching players who have competed in 647 basketball games with 293 starts at the Division I level.
The experience factor is boosted this year with the addition of transfer Johni Broomea two-year starter at Morehead State.
The other three newcomers were seniors in high school last season. That group includes post player Yohan Traore and guard Tre Donaldsonalong with guard/forward Luck Westrywho is recovering from a recent knee surgery.
Westry, who was a standout performer on the team’s exhibition tour to Israel in August, is expected to be ready to return to action sometime in mid to late November.
Eleven players on the 2022-23 roster have played in multiple college games and 10 of those have seen action for the Tigers. The list of players with collegiate experience includes:
K.D. Johnson–The junior guard has played in 34 Auburn games with 31 starts. Additionally, as a freshman at Georgia he played in 16 games, all in reserve, as he averaged 13.5 points, just off the team lead of Sahvir Wheeler (14.0), who is still in the SEC as a senior guard for Kentucky.
Wendell Green–The junior guard has played in 33 Auburn games with four starts. As a freshman in 2020-21 at Eastern Kentucky he started 25 times and played in four other games while averaging 15.8 points and 5.0 assists.
Jaylin Williams–The senior forward has played in 74 games for the Tigers with 27 starts, all during his sophomore season. Last season he was a backup to All-American Jabari Smith, who is now in the NBA.
Johni Broome–The six-foot-ten transfer, who is in his third season in college and first with the Tigers, played in 64 games for Morehead State. He has made 61 starts, including every game last season.
Chris Moore–The junior forward has played in 50 games for the Tigers, all in a reserve role.
Zep Jasper–The “super senior” played in 32 games last season, all starts, after transferring to Auburn from Coastal Carolina. Prior to arriving at AU he played in 83 games and started 63 times. He has played in more college games than anyone on the roster with 115. He is also the leader in starts with 95.
Allen Flanigan–The senior guard/forward has played in 80 games and started 50 times for the Tigers.
Babatunde Akingbola–The senior center has played in 46 games, all in a reserve role, in three seasons with the Tigers.
Dylan Cardwell–The junior center has played in 61 Auburn games, all as a reserve.
Lior Berman–The senior guard has seen action in 33 Auburn games, all as a reserve.
Chandler Leopard–The senior walk-on guard has played in 12 games as a reserve.
Numbers of Notes: Bryce Brown holds the school record for most games played at Auburn with 131 from 2015-19. He shares the record for most games played in a season with 40 in 2018-19 as the Tigers won the SEC Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament Final Four. Samir Doughty, Jared Harper, Anfernee McLemore and Horace Spencer each played in 40 games that season.
Numbers of Notes, Part 2: Frank Ford, a standout performer for Coach Sonny Smith from 1983-87, holds the Auburn record for consecutive games started at 127. The guard also holds the career record for the most minutes played at 4,374.
Did You Know? Ford started on four NCAA Tournament teams as did Ford’s running mate at guard, Gerald White. Their junior season the Tigers advanced to the Elite Eight before losing a close game to eventual national champion Louisville.
Last Shot: Mike Eades, a 24-year veteran of college basketball officiating who called three Final Fours, attended Auburn’s practice on Thursday to give the players and coaches a clinic on collegiate rules and how they will be called for the 2022-23 season.
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