Auburn basketball signs top-10 recruiting class


On the heels of a 26-win season that included a Southeastern Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, head coach Bruce Pearl and the Auburn basketball team have inked a top-10 recruiting class.

The Tigers signed five four-star players in Babatunde Akingbola, Allen Flanigan, Tyrell Jones, Isaac Okoro and Jaylin Williams.

Auburn’s class is ranked No. 10 in the nation by 247Sports and Rivals, and No. 11 by ESPN.

“I’ve always said the time to rate a class is after they finish their eligibility,” Coach Pearl said. “What kind of degrees do they get? What kind of championships did they win? To me, that’s the time to get a class a ranking.

“What jumps out to me about this class is the character, toughness, hunger, not entitled and wanting to continue to make history at Auburn. When a student chooses Auburn, they make a statement about the kind of environment that they want to live in, how they want to train and how they want to study. I think all five of these guys have a chance to be great Auburn men. I look forward to getting to work with them.”

Okoro, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward from Powder Springs, Ga., is a consensus top-50 player in the country as he is ranked 32nd by Rivals, 38th by 247Sports and 44th by ESPN. He won the gold medal with the 2018 USA U17 World Cup Team last summer, leading the team to a 7-0 record in Santa Fe, Argentina. Okoro averaged 20.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in his junior season at McEachern High School. In three seasons, he has led the team to an 81-8 record that includes three state tournament appearances.

Jones, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard, hails from Chicago, Ill., but has played his prep career in Orlando, Fla. The consensus four-star is ranked 88th by 247Sports, 92nd by ESPN and 105th by Rivals. He is currently averaging 16.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game as a senior. Jones emerged onto the scene as a junior when he averaged 17.2 points, 3.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game as a junior. He once knocked down 12 3-pointers in a game to highlight a 40-point performance from the floor.

Williams, a resident of Nahunta, Ga., is a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward and is a consensus four-star signee who is positioned as a top-120 player. He is ranked 95th nationally by Rivals and 120th by 247Sports. Williams was a Class AAA First Team All-State choice as a junior at Brantley County High School. He had consecutive games where he scored 44 points, followed by a 51-point, 10-rebound, 6-block outing. Williams also produced stat lines of 31 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds as well as 27 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in a pair of games as a prep.

Flanigan is a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard and forward who hauls from Little Rock, Ark. He was selected as the No. 1 player in the state of Arkansas and a top small forward by ESPN. While playing for Parkview Magnet High School under his grandfather, Alfred Flanigan, he averaged 13.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists as a junior. So far, Flanigan has won two state championships and finished runner-up in three years as a prep athlete. He is the son of former Auburn star and current assistant coach Wes Flanigan.

Akingbola, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound center, is known for his defensive prowess and ability to attack the glass. Considered one of the top players in the state of Georgia, he is teammates with Okoro at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga. As a junior he averaged 6.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 1.1 assists per game. He also had 70 rebounds to go along with 26 blocks and shot 56 percent from the floor in his previous 10 games as a prep standout.

Pearl credits the work of his staff in landing one of the nation’s best recruiting classes.

“This was a real team effort from our staff. Everybody made major contributions. I’m really proud of the way the coaches put this class together.”

Categories: Alabama Sports, Sports