WILL HASTINGS AND MIKE SHERWOOD (PHOTO BY JASON CALDWELL)

Jason Caldwell's Friday Mailbag Column Features Auburn Football, Basketball & Baseball

Talking about wide receiver Will Hastings, potential basketball transfers for Auburn, SEC stadiums, and more in this edition of the Friday Auburn Mailbag.

Will Hastings (above) is shown in the A-Day football scrimmage.

Tiger82: Many are high on Will Hastings. He runs precise routes, is quick, and had good hands. All good, but he is kind of small for an SEC receiver and I worry that opposing DBs will jam him on the line and throw off the timing of his route, Can he add enough strength to hold his own against bigger DBs?

Will is just a different type of guy. Strength is only one requirement of getting off a jam. Maybe the best way to do it is using your quickness and technique, which is where Hastings excels. For him in the middle it’s not going to be as much timing as it is finding an open spot. He’s running more option routes so unlike a one-two-three and throw to a spot for the quarterback it’s going to be seeing where his progression takes him during the route and finding him. In the end he was probably better against the jam than any of the guys in the spring because he was the only receiver who consistently got open. Most of the outside guys were the ones who had trouble getting off the line against first-team corners Carlton Davis and Javaris Davis.

 

CB4AUBURN: When will baby Caldwell make her first appearance at an Auburn sporting event? ITAT needs to buy you a front baby carrier for the sidelines this fall.

No front baby carrier for me, even though I’m sure she would love it. She’s just fine with noise and people. Hampton has already been to a pair of baseball games and will probably make a softball regional at some point as long as it’s not too hot. She does pretty well until she gets hungry.

 

Tiger82: Other than Jordan-Hare, what are your favorite football stadiums?

It’s funny because in doing this job for so long now I’m more partial to the ones that have better media facilities on the field that allow me to do my job better. Thankfully, there are a few of those places that are really good with Georgia and Tennessee being far and away the best. Both have great media facilities at field level to make the jobs of cameramen much easier. That’s something that most wouldn’t be aware of. Unfortunately, Auburn isn’t one of those places We do have a spot to work, which is nice, but it’s far from what they have at Sanford Stadium and Neyland Stadium. However, it’s still miles ahead of Tiger Stadium at LSU, which is far and away the worst in the league other than Vandebilt.

As for places that are really first-class, Texas A&M, Kentucky and MIssissippi State are now top of the line in terms of amenities and the way they do things. All three have improved by light years and along with Arkansas are some of my favorite places to visit in the league right now.

 

gtwstock: What can Auburn's hitters do to become more effective against breaking pitches?  Lange dominated with his curve tonight and I expect we'll continue to see a lot of them thrown by our opponents.

Unfortunately, when a guy like LSU’s Alex Lange is on there’s not much a college hitter is going to do with that. He is one of the best, if not the best, in the entire country in my opinion in terms of pure stuff. I think the biggest thing is to just not swing at bad pitches. I heard hitting coach Doug Sisson say that if a college pitcher throws a plus breaking ball and does it for strikes then you’re not going to have a ton of success. If you can lay off bad pitches and make them throw strikes then that’s the ticket against most college pitchers.

 

TigerNAggieLand: 1. Is Wilson a guard who can consistently bury the three? I'd love to have a guard or wing who initially could come off the bench and score 10-15 points.

2. A second question: Are we still considering signing another post player? One would think there are several athletic post players in Europe, Argentina/Brazil, Australia, and Africa who would love to come to the U.S.

These are the two areas we need to strengthen IMO. Thanks

Miles Wilson shot 36.2 percent from three-point range last basketball season as a freshman for Mount St. Mary’s so he’s a guy that is pretty good from outside the arc right now. He was a 60 percent free throw shooter, but that’s something that normally improves with experience. Overall, he was 45.4 percent from the floor, which is pretty good for a freshman guard.

Probably the best thing about Wilson is that he had 15 points in the conference championship game, 17 in the NCAA First Four win over New Orleans and then 22 in a loss to Villanova in the next game two days later. He was 7-16 in the three biggest games of the year, so that shows he’s a guy that plays well in the biggest situations.

As for signing another post player, nothing is off the table at the moment, but I still think theTigers would like to hold a spot for for the 2018 class to be able to space out the classes a little bit. With the possibilities that you could lose Austin Wiley, Danjel Purifoy and maybe Mustapha Heron after next season you could have some big holes to fill. Getting balance in the classes is something I think the coaches would like to have.

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