Horace Spencer (above) is shown at an Auburn practice.
Auburn, Ala.--Bruce Pearl says he has seen some good things so far this preseason from each of his four scholarship freshmen, but the Auburn Tigers coach notes they are raw as college basketball players.
The group includes six-foot-nine center Horace Spencer from Philadelphia and Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., six-foot-three guard Bryce Brown from Tucker, Ga., High, six-foot-two guard New Williams from Santa Monica, Calif., High and six-foot-six guard/forward Danjel Purifoy from Centreville, Ala., a player who was at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia last season.
“They are typical freshmen,” Pearl says. “They are immature, they play young.
“Horace is a rare athlete,” the coach notes. “He is really good at a high level and he is a hard worker. He has gained 20 pounds already. He is a beast and people should be afraid of him--maybe not right away, may not his freshman year, but goodness gracious.
Guard Bryce Brown is expected to be a three-point threat this season.
“Bryce Brown can shoot it from any place in this gymnasium,” Pearl says of the two-guard, who missed Saturday's scrimmage due to an ankle injury that Pearl says is not serious.
“New Williams has got some abilities and got some skills,” Pearl points out. “He just has to learn how to play a little bit more. He is probably better off the ball than on the ball.
New Williams is an excellent leaper.
“Purifoy has got the stroke of a pro,” Pearl contends. “I was yelling at him all day long (during Saturday’s scrimmage) to shoot the ball. He has a got a pro game and a pro body.”
Purifoy is able to practice with the Tigers, but has not been academically cleared to play in games. Pearl has given no timetable on when Auburn expects a decision on the freshman’s status.
Danjel Purifoy is shown at Saturday's scrimmage.
“I am very happy with all four of them, but they are all young,” he says. “Younger guys typically aren’t as physical...they just are not. They have no idea of how physical. They think these practices are physical, they have no idea of how physical.”
The Tigers will go on public display on Oct. 30th with an exhibition game at Auburn Arena vs. Brevard College from North Carolina.