Hoover, Ala.--The son of former Auburn basketball standouts Aubrey Wiley and Vickie Orr, talented 2017 big man Austin Wiley already has offers from all over the country, including from Bruce Pearl’s Tigers. Camping on the Plains over the summer, he was back in town for the Auburn-Louisiana Tech football game along with several other top prospects including Josh Langford.
“It was good,” Wiley said of the visit. “They got all the number one players from each class to come down. We all talked with Coach Pearl. He got us all in a room and played us a video about staying in-state and going to college. He used different examples, not just Auburn.”
Already being recruited heavily by Auburn before the coaching change, Wiley said he has noticed a big change with Pearl’s staff because of the way they approach things with recruiting and basketball in general.
“It really hasn’t changed because the last staff was on me pretty hard,” Wiley said. “This staff is just real energetic and ready for the season to start. I think a spark has come back for Auburn basketball. Everybody has been waiting on it for a while.”
One of the staff members Wiley is particularly close with is former Auburn legend Chuck Person. A cousin of his father’s from Brantley, Person has been telling the younger Wiley about the team and the season ahead. While he knows there are likely to be ups and downs this first year, Wiley said he likes what he hears from the Auburn staff about the future.
“They are saying they’re going to have success,” Wiley said. “They want to speed up the tempo on offense and defense. They want to play with speed and energy. They’re going to be small this year, but they said they can overcome it.”
Working hard to improve his game as he prepares for his sophomore season at Spain Park, Wiley has the opportunity to go head-to-head with another top prospect every day to get ready. A teammate and the son of former Alabama standout Buck Johnson, Jamal Johnson also camped at Auburn over the summer and is planning to be back in Auburn in three weeks when the Tigers take on South Carolina.
Planning to visit with Wiley, Johnson said he’s excited about the future with the big man at Spain Park and can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Jaguars.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot,” Johnson said. “We just connect really good with each other and we love playing with each other. I just look forward to playing with him every day.
“I’m super excited to get started,” he added. “Austin is such a presence on offense and defense and I get to pass him the ball and we both get to share the ball with each other.”
With still plenty of time before he has to make his decision, Wiley said he’s still very much open, but admits there’s just something about Auburn right now. With another trip planned to Auburn before his season begins he said it's a chance to get back to a place that is special for him and his family.
“I like the place,” Wiley said. “It feels like home.”