Auburn, Ala.--Although he is averaging just 7.6 points per game the numbers say that freshman forward Anfernee McLemore has been productive when he is on the court for the Auburn basketball team. His coach, Bruce Pearl, agrees.
“Anfernee just keeps getting better and just continues to improve,” says Pearl as the Tigers prepare for game six, a Tuesday 7 p.m. home tipoff vs. USC-Upstate.
“He is a guy that two or three years from now he is going to be a great player in our program because he is just growing so much,” Pearl says.
McLemore has taken seven shots this season and has yet to miss from the field. He also made his only free throw and is averaging 2.0 rebounds per game for the 4-1 Tigers.
“He is a pleasure to coach,” Pearl says. “He has got that next level athleticism and strength. He has got really good hands. He has got good footwork.
“Right now, Anfernee’s challenge is that his position is power forward and Danjel Purifoy is a really talented player, so he’s only getting about 10 minutes behind Danjel,” Pearl points out.
“At the five (center) we’ve been rotating Horace Spencer and LaRon Smith, and certainly Anfernee would be good enough to play in there at the five, but trying to get him to play two positions, with all that he has to learn, we tried a little bit and what happened was he started to get confused at the four, and I need him at the four.
“He could probably be playing more if he were an upperclassman and knew our system a little bit, but as a freshman it’s all he can handle to just play the one position,” Pearl adds.
Purifoy, who leads the Tigers in minutes played at 29.4 per game, tops the Tigers in scoring at 16.4 points per contest going into the matchup vs. the 3-3 Spartans of USC-Upstate out of the Atlantic Sun Conference. There is no television coverage of the game that will be streamed on SEC+ as the Tigers play their final home game until a Dec. 15th contest vs. Coastal Carolina.