”It‘s real good,” Harden said. ”Auburn actually offered me this past season, my sophomore year. I have a real good communication with Coach (Bruce) Pearl and Coach (Chuck) Person. They are real good coaches and I really like Auburn.”
With offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech and Winthrop at the moment and also hearing from Florida, UAB, College of Charleston, LSU, Cincinnati, Kansas, Georgia and others, Harden said the Tigers are definitely one of the early teams to beat for him because of the early offer.
“As of right now Auburn is probably the highest on my list,” Harden said. “They’ve been recruiting me the hardest of anyone. The class they have coming in right now with Danjel and Bryce and others and then Jared is real good. I think it’s going to be a real good school.
“It shows me a lot,” he added of the offer. “It just shows that I’m doing good, but I know I still have more areas where I can improve. I’ll just continue to work hard every day and use that as motivation.”
In addition to seeing and talking with Pearl, Person and the rest of the Auburn staff, Harden and his teammates got the opportunity to bond while playing games against good competition. With a new coach and new players to get used to, he said the experience was a needed one for his team.
“It’s real good for us,” Harden said. “We’re just trying to get our team together. We just lost our coach this year, he went do a different school, so we’re just trying to get better as a team. We’re just trying to pick it up and get better as a team.”
Taking on a leadership role this year with only two seniors currently on the team, Harden said it has forced him to become a more well-rounded player on the court. That has meant in addition to being more vocal he has had to become a more phyiscal player.
“I have gotten a lot stronger,” Harden said. “I have been in the weight room a lot, getting in shots, and working on finishing through contact. I’m just trying to get better in the paint because I can shoot the ball real well.”
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