Aussie Forward Eager to Get to Auburn

New Auburn basketball commitment talks about his plans to sign with Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers.

Melbourne, Australia--Basketball has enabled Jack Purchase to see a good portion of the world at a young age and his overseas travels will continue now that he plans to play collegiately in the United States for the Auburn Tigers.

"It is what I have wanted to do for years now to go to a big school and live the college life," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I am looking forward to being over there next year for summer school."

Playing on age group teams representing Australia, he has competed in the United States, Asia and Europe. He notes that playing against international competition has been a great experience.

"We played against the best in the world," Purchase says. "We went up against the American team and they were very good. We went up against them three times in about two weeks."

Turning 18 years old this year, he has moved up in competition level. "I play in the seniors now against men," he says. "I have to be ready for college.

"We play in one of the best leagues in Victoria," he adds. "I play the three--small forward. I am on the perimeter a lot."

Last season playing in a league for players Under 23 years old, he averaged 21.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and was the league championship series Most Valuable Player.

Ryan Miller, an assistant coach for Tony Barbee, has been recruiting Purchase. The prospect explains the connection.

"In the league I play in we play a team called Ringwood,"?he says. "Coach Ryan Miller used to play for Ringwood and the coach at Ringwood now is good friends with Ryan and he recommended me to Ryan, I think.

"Ryan made contact with me. I sent him some tape and it just went from there. We have been talking for a few months now and the visit really helped me make my decision on where to go."

Purchase took a recruiting trip to Auburn this past weekend with his father, Nigel, a former professional basketball player, and committed to the Tigers not long after returning to Australia. "I love it over there," he says, noting he liked the players, coaches and the college atmosphere.

The Auburn commitment says his father has helped him develop as a player. "He knows a lot about the game. He definitely helped me become the player I am today, that's for sure. Hopefully, Auburn can help advance me."

Purchase says the area of his game that needs the most work is defense. He says that he considers shooting and passing his strengths.

"I like to shoot the three-ball," he points out, which is not surprising for a player who shot close to 50 percent behind the three-point line last season playing for his club team, the Melbourne Tigers.

He notes that he is somewhere between six-foot-eight and six-foot-nine and weighs in at "around 90 kilos," which is big under 200 pounds.

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