Auburn Center Austin Wiley Named SEC Basketball Freshman of the Week

Austin Wiley is honored after contributing to a pair of Auburn basketball victories.

Auburn, Ala.--Playing in his ninth and 10th games as a college basketball player, Auburn center Austin Wiley has been named SEC Freshman of the Week for his contributions in a pair of victories.

Wiley, who joined the Tigers in December as an early high school graduate, averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in a 78-74 victory over LSU and an 84-64 win vs. Alabama.

In the rivalry game on Saturday vs. the Tide he posted season-best totals of 19 points and nine rebounds. He scored 15 of his points in the second half as the Tigers scored 54 points in the period to pull away from the Tide, which was tied 30-30 with Auburn at halftime.

Wiley noted that he particularly enjoyed the victory vs. Alabama because it is a rivalry that both of his parents played in as basketball standouts at Auburn. “My mindset was I really just wanted to beat them because I grew up in the rivalry and it was a hyped game, really hyped coming into it,”?he said.

Commenting on his play, the 6-11, 255-pound center from Birmingham said, “I don’t really think about it like how I performed as long as we got the win. I just do whatever I need to do for my team to win so that’s pretty much how I looked at it.”

The center agreed with his coach, Bruce Pearl, and teammates Mustapha Heron and Ronnie Johnson on how the Tigers took control of the Alabama game in the second half. “We got on the boards and we locked down defensively, and we ran,” Wiley said. “I did a better job rebounding and I played better defense.”

Wiley played so well the student section at Auburn Arena began chanting his name in the second half.

“I didn’t really hear it,” said Wiley, a five-star recruit. “I really don’t think about that. I feed off the energy. I hear they’re loud, but I don’t really hear what they’re saying. But, it means a lot just to get this program back and going again to get a lot of energy in the building and give Auburn fans something to cheer about.”

Wiley and the Tigers return to action with a 5:30 p.m. CST game at South Carolina.

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