Griffin Chooses Tigers After Weekend at AU

Junior college basketball forward Chris Griffin talks about his official visit to Auburn and his decision to play for Tony Barbee's Tigers.

Mount Carmel, Ill.--Chris Griffin, a former Rutgers basketball commitment, spent the weekend on an official visit to Auburn and came away saying he will sign with Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers.

"I thought about it and decided that Auburn is the right place for me," Griffin said. "I really like the players and the coaches. There is also a great opportunity for me to play immediately."

Griffin said he talked to father, David Griffin who played basketball at Penn State in the 1980s, and noted that he was on board with his son's choice. "He is excited for me," the prospect said.

A six-foot-seven forward for Wabash Junior College, Griffin noted that his main position is small forward, but can also line up at the power forward or the two guard spot.

"I consider myself a versatile guy on the court," he said, noting he tries to model his game after NBA star Paul Pierce.

"I have a good outside shot and I really like to pass the ball," he said. "I don't know why, but getting the ball to my teammates is something I really enjoy."

Commenting on his visit to Auburn, he said that he hit it off well with the players and Barbee's staff. "Everything was real nice," he said. "The coaches are good guys."

Griffin said that he is looking for a place where there is good team chemistry. "The players and coaches are close," he said.

Players can begin signing for the spring period that begins on Wednesday. "I am feeling it right now," he said of Auburn.

The junior college player was considering taking another visit, but decided to choose Auburn over Rutgers, DePaul, Gulf Coast and several others.

Asked what he likes about Auburn, he said, "Just the feel. It has a college town feel. It is small with a family feel to it. Growing up in Tallahassee, with Florida State there, it kind of feels like Tallahassee a little bit to me.

Griffin noted he was impressed with the facilties at Auburn. "Everything is first class," he said.

The prospect said he enjoying touring the campus and getting to know more about Auburn. He noted he spent a lot of time with the players and coaches and really enjoyed that part of the trip. "I wanted to build relationships and see how we clicked,"?he said. "It was good."

Griffin said as a juco player with two years of eligibility it is important to him to find a place where he fits in and will be able to contribute immediately and "help the team out." He added, "To me it is bigger than basketball. It's the relationships I have with the players and coaches."

Currently 6-7, 235 pounds, he said that he plans to drop some weight prior to the season. He got heavier while recovering from an MCL injury that did not require surgery, but limited his playing time significantly, allowing him to play in just 15 games. He managed to score 10.5 points per contest and pull in 2.7 rebounds per game while averaging just 7.8 minutes of playing time. "I am 100 percent now," he said.

A player who originally considered the Tigers before committing to Rutgers, which recently fired its head coach, Griffin said what happened with the Scarlet Knights was unfortunate. "It is crazy. Coach Rice recruited me and I committed up there when I was on my visit. Everything has happened so fast. I wish Rutgers and Coach Rice the best."

Griffin was an All-State player in high school, graduating from Leon High after previously attending FAMU High.


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