Austin Wiley, Davion Mitchell and Chuma Okeke (pictured above left to right) make up the nation's No. 1 recruiting class for 2017.
When five-star big man Austin Wiley committed to Coach Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers in September, one of his goals was to see the program become one of national prominence by bringing in other top talent along with him in the 2017 class.
It wasn’t long after that four-star guard Davion Mitchell chose the Tigers to give them what would later be ranked the No. 1 class in the country on Scout.com.
This summer things took a turn for the better when another four-star forward Chuma Okeke chose the Tigers in July, picking them over Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and several other colleges.
Only adding to the strength of the No. 1 class in the country, the addition of Okeke cemented Auburn’s class as one to watch for in the world of college basketball and Wiley said it’s just the start of what they hope ends with banners being hung in Auburn Arena.
“It just means a lot to me,” Wiley said of the class being rated No. 1 in the country. “I’m very proud of where we have progressed to from looking back on what we were. I’m just ready to make some noise and come in here and work hard and ready to play.
“I’m very excited about the future,” he added. “I see these guys are going to take care of business this year. They’ve got some good pieces this year and they’re going to make some noise. It’s going to the the job of our class to come in and continue and possibly win championships.”
Davion Mitchell is shown in action at Bruce Pearl's Elite Camp held on Sunday.
The most recent of the trio of commitments, the 6-8 Okeke had plenty of options when looking at schools, but in the end the lure of playing alongside Wiley and Okeke was too much for him to pass up and that eventually led him to Auburn.
"It's close to home and my family liked how they can watch me play without having to get on an airplane," Okeke said. "Also, I like the coaching staff, how well we get along. It's also about the players coming in, Davion Mitchell and Austin Wiley. Davion was my teammate in AAU and I like playing with him. It's going to be fun playing with Austin, too."
Playing for championships is something that is definitely on the mind of Mitchell, something hr hsd already done on the high school level at Liberty County, Ga. One of the most athletic point guards in the country, Mitchell said teaming up with Wiley and Okeke is something that has been in the works for a while and it's part of the bond they've built along the way in this recruiting cycle.
“It puts a smile on my face,” Mitchell said. “It look a lot of work, especially getting Chuma with all of those schools coming after him. Austin came first and then me and Austin started communicating. Then I did it and tried to bring my Georgia Stars teammate in, too.
“It’s just very exciting,” he added. “Especially after Auburn has made the tournament in a couple of years. We’re just trying to put Auburn back on the map. We’re already talking about it (championships). We’re already looking at it.”