Auburn, Ala.--Suspended for Auburn’s last two games against Georgia and Tennessee for conduct detrimental to the team, leading scorer Kareem Canty has decided to turn pro and forego the rest of his eligibility, he tweeted on Thursday night.
“Playing for the best coach in the land coach Pearl was very exciting, but I decided to enter the NBA Draft and forgo my senior season,” Canty said.
"I wanna thank Auburn university for everything you guys done for me and letting me pursue my degree here and play the game I love at one of the highest level," Canty added on Instagram. "Unfortunately life is like a battery you gotta have your positives and negatives. I decided to forgo my senior season and enter the NBA Draft and part ways from auburn university.
"I can't thank coach Pearl and his staff enough for taking me in and embracing me I love coach Pearl like a father figure best coach in the Land. Very soon it'll be a new king of the jungle hitting his wrist letting ya know what time it is lol. only the strong survive so again Auburn and coach Pearl and the staff thank you guys for everything. God Got me."
Playing in 21 games for the Auburn Tigers this season the redshirt junior was averaging 18.3 points and over five assists per game to lead Auburn in both categories. He was also second on the team with 16 steals.
A transfer from Marshall, Canty sat out last season and was expected to be one of the top players for the Tigers this season and he didn’t disappoint. One of the most prolific three-point shooters in the nation, Canty was instrumental in Auburn’s wins over Kentucky and Alabama in home in January.
Since that time however his game has slipped as the Tigers’ bench has continued to dwindle because of injuries, forcing him to shoulder much of the scoring load. The tipping point for him came in a home loss to LSU when he drew the ire of Pearl during the game, leading to Pearl anointing power forward Cinmeon Bowers as Auburn’s point guard moving forward alongside Canty's suspension.
With Canty gone the Tigers are left with just two scholarship guards, Bryce Brown and T.J. Lang, because of injuries to Tahj Shamsid-Deen and T.J. Dunans this season and the still ongoing uncertainty surrounding Danjel Purifoy with the ACT board.
Auburn returns to action this Saturday at 5 p.m. when the Tigers take on Vanderbilt at Auburn Arena.