Big Man Has Big Time On AU Official Visit

A junior college big man basketball prospect discusses his weekend in Auburn.

Independence, Kan.--Tony Criswell said he is going to wait until he takes all of his recruiting trips, but the basketball prospect said he had an excellent official visit to Auburn over the weekend.

"I had a great time," said Criswell, a 6-9, 235-pound forward at Independence Community College. "I knew Auburn was going to be nice with really nice facilities, but I was just amazed by how great everything was there. It was just crazy how good it was.

"The campus is great and the basketball facilities are tremendous," he added. "I had a really good time on my visit.

"I also like the coaches and the players a lot," he said, noting that he enjoyed hanging out with current Tigers like Kenny Gabriel and Varez Ward. "I am definitely considering Auburn," he said.

Criswell said he plans to take visits to Arkansas and Oklahoma and then make a decision on where he will sign.

A two-time All-State performer at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, he signed with UAB, but transferred to junior college in May. He said the fresh start will help him get where he wants to go as a basketball player.

He averaged 3.2 points and 3.6 rebounds a game in 14.2 minutes per contest last season at UAB. As a high school senior he averaged 17.1 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Asked what he believes his strength is as a player, Criswell said his strength and ability to create mismatches with other forwards who try to guard him are some of the reasons he is getting attention from major college programs.

Criswell said he plans to have a decision in October. "My relationship with the head coach is an important factor in my decision," he said, noting that he likes Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "I am looking to go to a place where I can develop as a player and a student."

Barbee's Tigers have a pair of verbal commitments for the 2012 signee class from forward Shaquille Johnson and guard Jordan Price, both high school seniors.


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