Barbee's Tigers Pick Up 2012 Commitment

Brian Greene Jr., a class of 2012 basketball prospect, said that he will sign with Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers.

Bradenton, Fla.--Brian  Greene Jr., a 6-3, 200-pound combo guard who took an official visit to Auburn over the weekend, said that he is done with recruiting and will sign with the Tigers in April.

Greene said he hit it off with Auburn's coaches and players and plans to move to Auburn this summer after he finishes training at IMG Academy in June.

"I feel like Auburn is a great fit for me," he said.

Greene, who is from the Chicago area where he was a standout at Thornton Township High, is playing on the post-graduate team at IMG Academy in Bradenton where he hoped to pick up more scholarship offers than he had as a high school senior. That strategy worked.

He said Ole Miss, Iowa, South Florida, the University of Detroit, St. Bonaventure, Loyola of Chicago and Rhode Island offered scholarships.

"It feels great," he said of his decision to commit to Tony Barbee's Tigers. "It is a blessing. God has kept me away from an injury. He kept me focused.

"It was tough going down there, it was tough getting away from home for the first time," he said. "I was homesick about the first month and a half, but we had some Chicago guys down there so I bounced back and started playing really strong."

Auburn's courtship of the combo guard was a whirlwind one.

"Auburn called on Monday and said we need a guard," Greene pointed out. "They flew down on a Thursday and I am at Auburn on a Friday.

"They made it known that I was a priority. A lot of schools that were recruiting me were recruiting me kind of casually. They offered a scholarship, but you just didn't feel like they were recruiting you.

"It happened pretty quick," he said of his decision to play for the Tigers, noting that Barbee knows his coach, who recommended the guard to the Tigers.

"The visit was great," Greene added. "I really enjoyed everything about it. I really like the campus, the coaching staff and what they are trying to do. Everything was good."

Brian Greene, Jr.

The guard, whose father played college football at Central State in Ohio, said he arrived at Auburn on Friday and watched the team's shoot-around and then got to meet the players. He also met the university president, athletic director and academic advisers.

On Saturday he watched the Tigers defeat LSU in the final regular season game and then spent time with Barbee. "I went to the coach's house and felt real comfortable," he said. "I decided to commit to Auburn. It feels real good to get it off my back. The last 2 1/2 weeks have been hectic with the recruiting process."

Greene noted that he liked the way the Tigers played on Saturday. "It was real exciting. The crowd was really into it. They played hard every possession. At points you had droughts, but they fought through it. I saw the adversity and the willingness to win so that is something that you like to see. You want to be around those guys who want to win."

He said the season of prep school worked out nicely for him after only having offers from lower level Division I programs as a senior. "They were pretty much recruiting me as an athlete coming out of high school because I had to play out of position because we had little guards," he pointed out.

"They just thought I was an athlete so I decided to go to IMG Academy to work on my game. I just couldn't see myself playing at that level so I wasn't going to settle for anything and a year wouldn't hurt, and it paid off."

Greene noted that he played a lot of forward at Thornton Township. "It was cool because we won games," he said. "In my high school career we probably only lost about 10 games," he said.

The guard said he isn't sure of his statistics from his season as a prep school player, but said it went well. "Probably like 20 points--something like that. I played combo guard. We had a solid team, a real athletic team...We were pretty much stacked."

Describing what Auburn fans should expect from his style of play, Greene said, "What they are going to see is tough, hard Chicago basketball down South. I pretty much do everything pretty well. Probably the best part of my game is my pull-up, mid-range game. They are going to see an above-average athlete. It is going to be really exciting."

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