Inside the Auburn Tigers/

Auburn Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl Says He Likes New Signee's Toughness

Malik Dunbar has officially signed to play basketball for the Auburn Tigers.

After committing to the Auburn basketball team on an official visit over the weekend, juco forward Malik Dunbar signed scholarship papers on Monday to play for Coach Bruce Pearl’s Tigers.

A 6-6, 230-pound sophomore at College of Central Florida in Ocala, Dunbar averaged 15.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 27.2 minutes per game for a 23-8 team in 2016-17.

“One of our biggest weaknesses last season was defense, rebounding and physical play,” said Pearl. “Malik brings a toughness and a winning attitude to Auburn.

“He didn’t spend years out on the AAU circuit as a younger player and developed into a dominant player under Tim Ryan at Central Florida,” Pearl said. “Malik comes from a large family where there is a lot of love, and I think the opportunity of a program that stresses family was really desirable to him.”

An All-State player at Spring Valley High in Columbia, S.C., where he was a teammate of South Carolina guard T.J. Dozier, before that Dunbar played at North Augusta, S.C., High School.

A high-leaping small forward, he won the dunk contest in high school at the Beach Ball Classic, which draws top teams from around the region and nation.

This past season he shot 49.4 percent from the floor, 70.9 percent at the free throw line and 29.3 percent on three-pointers.

As a freshman Dunbar averaged 10.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 23.1 minutes per game as a freshman helping his team to the Mid-Florida Conference co-Championship with a 23-8 record. He shot 40.3 percent from the field, 73.5 percent from the foul line and 26.5 percent from behind the arc while starting 29 of 31 games as a freshman.

Dunbar is expected to join the Auburn team in July. He chose Auburn over Ole Miss, where he took an official visit, as well as Arkansas-Little Rock, East Tennessee State and around 20 other colleges.

“I felt like the team really wanted me to come to Auburn--I felt the love from the team,” Dunbar said. “I just felt like it was the best situation.”

Subscribe To

Get Inside The Auburn Tigers Magazine and Newsletters

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories