Pearl's Tigers Pick Up Forward Commitment

Cinmeon Bowers is the first prospect to commit to the Auburn basketball program since Bruce Pearl took over as head coach.

Chipola, Fla.--Auburn picked up its first verbal commitment for the spring basketball signing period on Sunday when junior college power forward Cinmeon Bowers decided to play for Coach Bruce Pearl's Tigers.

"I am done with recruiting and I'm signing on Wednesday with Auburn," he said. "I'm just very excited."

The prospect, who was also planning to visit the University of South Carolina this week, noted that he likes the opportunity waiting for him with the Tigers. "They said I would have the chance to come in and start right away and play big minutes," he said. "I think it's a great opportunity for me and that most definitely factored into my decision. That was the key for me. I only have two years to play so I had to pick the best situation for me.

"I think I can give the team some size and toughness to help win in the SEC," the six-foot-six, 260-pound sophomore added. "I checked out the team and saw where they needed me. They've got a missing piece and I wanted to come fill that spot."

The prospect pointed out that he liked the players and the coaches he spent time with on his official visit to Auburn over the weekend. "I was with K.T. (senior guard K.T. Harrell) and the guys and they are good people. They are real humble and not cocky."

Because Pearl is still under NCAA sanctions from his time at Tennessee that don't end until late August, Auburn's head coach can't be involved in recruiting this spring. However, Bowers points out that he met with two head coaches on his official visit who talked to him about why Auburn is a good place to be a college student and a college athlete.

"I had a private meeting with the football coach (Gus Malzahn)," Bowers said. "We talked for about 15 minutes. Coach Malzahn is is very humble and a good guy. That made me feel good. I also talked to Coach Flo (women's head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy) and one of her assistants. They are great people, too. Coach Flo has got a lot of personality and she made me laugh. I like her a lot."

Assistant coach Tony Jones is the lead recruiter for Pearl's Tigers. "We have a great relationship," Bowers said. "He has done a great job recruiting me and I feel that he is a man I can trust. I also spent time with Coach Person (Chuck Person) and we talked a lot about basketball. I am looking forward to being coached by him."

Bowers, a six-foot-six, 260-pound sophomore, averaged 12.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game this past season at Chipola Junior College. As a freshman he averaged 11 points and seven rebounds per contest. He can sign with the Tigers this week in the spring period that begins on Wednesday.

The forward is the third commitment for the 2014 class joining early signees Sam Logwood and Jack Purchase.

Bowers, who is from Racine, Wisc., originally signed with Florida State in November, but he was released from his letter of intent after being charged with marijuana possession during a traffic stop. He was also recruited by Connecticut, Louisville, Pitt, DePaul and others prior to signing with the Seminoles.

The forward said he was impressed with the facilities and the campus as a whole. He noted that he also enjoyed going to an on-campus step show on Saturday night.

"I knew by Saturday I was coming to Auburn," he said. "Bruce Pearl and Tony Jones have been together for 20 years. When you add in Chuck Person it's going to be great playing for them."

The prospect noted that he will graduate at Chipola on June 1st, but before he enrolls at Auburn he will have to take another math class to be eligible to transfer to Auburn.

He added that he is looking forward to joining the team. "I plan to bring toughness and rebounding and I can put the ball in the hole, too," he said.

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