Opportunity Awaits Pearl's Newest Commitment

T.J. Lang talks about his decision to play for the Tigers and the chance to contribute to the Auburn basketball program.

Mobile, Ala.--T.J. Lang says he is excited about the opportunity awaiting for his freshman season playing basketball for the Auburn Tigers.

A new signee to Coach Bruce Pearl's team, the recent graduate of McGill-Toolen High School notes that he is eager to make the transition to college hoops and likes his opportunity to contribute early.

"The coaches really like me and watched my film from my high school team," Lang says. "They were telling me that they have just one shooting guard on the roster (senior K.T. Harrell) so coming in I won't be competing for playing time, I will be competing for a starting position. The opportunity is there for me.

"The opportunity to start, and help a team, and do it at the high SEC level in college basketball is very important to me," Lang adds.

The incoming freshman notes that he is currently six-foot-seven, 185 pounds may still be growing. When he arrives at Auburn he will be tall for the position he expects to play.

"I am a two guard," says the recruit, who is the son of former Duke star and NBA player Antonio Lang. "Coming into high school I was six-foot-three so I have played the one (point guard as well). The main thing my dad told me is to make sure I can dribble.

"When most schools came and watched me play in AAU we had a lot of two guards so we all played the two and point guard," he says. "I also played the three (small forward) and another one of our guards played the four (power forward)."

This past season Lang averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists per contest for McGill-Toolen. He says Auburn's style of play should be a good fit for his skills.

"If you can shoot and score I think it is a really good offense to play in," he says. "Incorporate that into Coach Pearl's proven track record of winning and going to the NCAA Tournament six years at Tennessee, and them being nationally ranked a lot, it was just a really good opportunity at Auburn," he says of his decision to choose the Tigers after previously being committed to Virginia Tech. Lang also considered Cal, Tulsa and Oregon State

"Scoring is probably the best thing I do," he says. "This year I had a couple of 30-point games and I had a 44-point game. Defense is the thing I probably need to work on the most."

The prospect notes he isn't certain yet when he will start classes at Auburn. Commenting on his summer plans, he says, "It depends on what time I report to Auburn. If I don't go to Auburn until late in the summer I plan to go out to Vegas to Impact Academy and work out and train for a while. As far as organized basketball I am not playing any this summer."

Lang, who plans to major in business, makes it clear that the academic part of being a student-athlete is very important and he took that into consideration before choosing Auburn. "I took honors courses at McGill and took advanced placement courses as a freshman and sophomore," he says.

Lang joins transfer point guard K.C. Ross-Miller and juco power forward Cinmeon Bowers as members of the 2014 recruiting class that have come on board since Auburn hired Pearl. Additionally, Auburn's two early signees, forwards Jack Purchase and Sam Logwood, are also planning to play for the Tigers this season.

"Our staff is very excited about T.J. joining our basketball program," says Auburn assistant coach Tony Jones, who is in charge of recruiting until August 24th when Bruce Pearl's NCAA show cause sanctions end.

"When Coach Pearl got the Auburn job, one of his first assertions was to recruit the state of Alabama, and signing T.J. brings that statement to fruition," Jones adds. "T.J. will add depth to our perimeter and his skill set fits our style of play on the offensive end."

Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person, who was heavily involved in recruiting Jones, says, "We are excited to sign a player of T.J.'s caliber and character. He will help us reestablish the excitement and tradition of Auburn basketball.

"T.J. will bring to our program a great skill set, a high basketball IQ and a great ability to shoot the basketball," Person adds. "Our staff is excited that T.J. is from the state of Alabama and he wanted to be a student-athlete at Auburn University."


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