Tigers Make Strong Impression On Point Guard

Basketball guard Jerome Seagears talks about his official visit to check out Tony Barbee's Auburn Tigers during the A-Day weekend.

Auburn's search for a second point guard in its 2013 signee class led to an official visit over the weekend from Jerome Seagears, who said he "loved" the visit and that Coach Tony Barbee's program is "one of my top choices as of right now."

Seagears, a six-foot-one sophomore who played the past two seasons for Rutgers, is planning to transfer at the end of current academic term.

Spending the A-Day weekend in Auburn with members of his family, Seagears said they all had a good time on the trip and that he could see himself making a move to Auburn later this year.

"I am down to five," he said, noting that Arkansas, Marquette, West Virginia and Baylor are the other colleges he is considering.

"I want to go somewhere where I think it is in my best interest to be a big focal point to the team and help the team the best I can with my abilities to play the game of basketball," Seagears said.

"I am going to take all of my visits--Arkansas next weekend and the following weekend either Marquette or West Virginia," he said. "I don't know yet. After I do that, hopefully I can get down (to Auburn) on an unofficial visit to meet some of the new pieces coming in to see how the team is going to work out from there."

Seagears noted that he hit it off well with the current members of the team and the coaching staff. "I told Coach Barbee that I am definitely looking to come back down. I am just waiting to see some of the pieces he has got coming in--I want to meet some of those guys. That is probably the only thing that is keeping me from pulling the trigger as of now."

Seagears is shown in action at Rutgers.

The guard had praise for Barbee and other members of his coaching staff, including Ryan Miller, who has been recruiting him for the Tigers. "Coach Miller and Coach Barbee are just good dudes," he said. "They are always looking out for your best interests."

He noted that he considered Auburn previously coming out of high school, but said that looking at the roster he didn't believe it was a good fit. However, the situation has changed. "As of right now they kind of need a point guard and I need a home," he said.

Auburn freshman guard/forward Shaquille Johnson was his player host. The recruit also hung out with seven-foot center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum who he noted did a good job of recruiting him, too.

"I definitely got along with the players," Seagears said. "Big Asauhn, I think he has a lot of potential to be good. He just needs somebody like a Chris Paul to get him shots and I think I am his guy. I saw him last night and he gave me a bear hug. That must have meant something."

Getting his family on board with his decision will be a factor on his destination. "They had a great time," Seagears said. "My mother, and my mother's husband, they said they liked the coaching staff--it was great. They said they like the environment. They loved the weather, even though the first night it was a little chilly."

The point guard noted that he and his family attended the spring football game on Saturday plus the Toomer's Corner celebration and were impressed.

"I went to the A-Day Game and that was amazing--83,000 people for a practice game," he noted. "I think that was great. I am big football fan. Cam Newton was my favorite coming out of Auburn. I definitely looked at him and looking back at history Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley, (Chris) Porter. There have definitely been some good people coming out of Auburn. I think it is a good place to start something new and I am definitely looking forward to coming down (for another visit).

"We all love football," he added. "We are a big football family. I used to play quarterback. They used to come to the games. They definitely like the situation academic-wise, educational-wise. The fans do a great job of making you feel at home and fit right in."

Interested in majoring in communications, a TV commentator from Auburn is a guy the prospect said he would like to meet. Charles Barkley is my idol," he noted. "He was a rebounding machine.

Seagears said he doesn't have a specific time for making his college choice. He said he could "pull the trigger" and pick Auburn after he takes his visits or could wait until the summer. Wherever he goes, there is a solid chance that he won't have to sit out a year as a transfer because Rutgers is releasing players from their scholarship obligations if they want to transfer after firing Coach Mike Rice.

"Hopefully, I will be able to play right away," Seagears said. "Even if I have to sit out, Auburn University is the right place to sit out. The love there is great. They make you feel at home as soon as you step on campus."

"I just like the family feel and how everybody brings you in and makes you feel comfortable. They did a good job. Coach Tony (Madlock), Coach Barbee, Coach Ryan, I think they are a great coaching staff. They definitely look out for your best interests and I think what they have building there is something special. I am definitely looking to be a part of it."

The Tigers have signed three players in the spring period. The group includes 6-7 Chris Griffin from Wabash Valley Community College, 6-7 guard/forward Dion Wade from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., and 6-9 Matthew Atewe from Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

In the early signing period the Tigers added 7-0 center/forward Benas Griciunas from Findlay Prep, 7-0 center Ronald Delph from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and 5-9 point guard Tajh Shamsid-Deen from Columbia High in Decatur, Ga.

Another spot opened on the Auburn roster for the 2013-14 season with freshman guard Jordan Price planning to transfer following spring semester. If all of the signees arrive as scheduled and the other remaining scholarship players with eligibility return the Tigers will be one over the scholarship limit of 13 if they sign another player for the 2013 class.

Guards Chris Denson, Brian  Greene, Johnson and K.T. Harrell, center Dixon-Tatum plus forwards Allen Payne and Jordon Granger are the other members of the current Auburn roster.

Seagears, who was rated four stars and the No. 18 point guard prospect in the country by Scout.com when he signed with Rutgers, averaged 32 points, 9.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds at Flora McDonald Academy for the 2010-11 season.

As a freshman at Rutgers he averaged 7.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists while starting 25 games, including the final 22 of the season.

This past season he started 19 times for the Scarlet Knights. He averaged 6.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 points per contest. Seagears hit 37 percent of his field goals and was 32-84 on threes (38.1 percent). He hit 73.8 percent of his free throws last season.

Seagears, whose hometown is Silver Spring, Md., was rated as the No. 89 overall prospect on the Scout.com Top 100 prospects listing when he signed with Rutgers.

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