Juco All-American Picks Tigers

Auburn has picked up its first spring men's basketball commitment.

Overland Park, Kan.--A junior college All-American point guard has told Inside the Auburn Tigers that he will sign with Auburn on Wednesday, the first day of the spring basketball signing period.

Chris Lollar, a six-foot, 190-pounder, said on Monday that he will play for the Tigers the next two seasons. He visited Auburn this past weekend on an official visit. Earlier this year on his college's spring break, he had taken an unofficial visit to AU.

"My visit went real well this past weekend," Lollar says. "I enjoy being around the Auburn players and the coaches. Brandon Robinson was my player host and I spent time with him and the other players."

Lollar was named National Junior College Player of the Year after leading Johnson County Community College to the Division II national championship as a freshman. He had offers from a variety of colleges around the country before selecting Auburn over Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Oregon State, Iowa State, UTEP, UAB, Wisconsin and others.

The spring signing period runs through May 15th and Auburn has room to sign Lollar and just one more player. A possibility for the second scholarship slot is 6-8, 260 pound forward/center Kareem Johnson from Chipola, Fla., Community College. He visited Auburn this past weekend on an official visit. Like Lollar, he had also been to AU on an unofficial visit.

Johnson, the former Alabama Class 5A Player of the Year at Eufaula High School, is scheduled to visit Cincinnati this weekend and previously visited Oklahoma State and UNC-Charlotte.

Lollar is a native of Birmingham, where he played high school basketball on a state championship team at John Carroll his sophomore year. That squad finished 31-1. He was a three-year starter at John Carroll who averaged 13 points, seven assists and seven steals per game as a senior.

Chris Lollar

As a freshman at Johnson County Community College, he set an assists single season record with an average of 8.5 per game while averaging 10.7 points. Last season, his scoring average improved to 13.4 assists per game, but his assists dropped to 6.3. Lollar says that was because this season's team had some chemistry problems and was not as cohesive as the national championship team his freshman year.

This past season, Lollar shot 47.8 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from three-point range and 72.3 percent at the foul line. "In my 11 seasons as the coach at Johnson County, Chris is by far the best point guard we have ever had," Coach Mike Jeffers says. "He is a very solid kid on and off the floor. He has a tremendous work ethic. He practices hard and plays hard in the games. He goes to class and does a good job there. Two years from now he will be graduating from college and will have been a big contributor to whatever program he plays for. Chris is a great passer who sees the floor well and is a threat from three-point range.

"We had a 51-16 record in the games Chris played point guard for us," Lollar says. "We lost one of our key players to injury this year and we graduated several of our top players off of the national championship team so that explains why his scoring was up and his assists were down. We asked him to take a little more of the offensive load and he did."

The Tigers have already signed a two guard, six-foot-five Australian Steve Leven, who has a reputation as a strong three-point shooter. He signed with the Tigers in November along with 6-9 forward Terry Licorish from Toronto, Canada.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Lollar is already academically eligible to play at Auburn and was as a senior in high school. He took the juco route to improve his game. While away from home in Kansas, he grew two inches taller and added 20 pounds. He says the decision to go the juco route rather than play for a mid-major type Division I program right out of high school was a good one. "I improved my game here. I am stronger and I am shooting the ball better."...Lollar has a true point guard mentality, his coach says. The sophomore agrees and says, "I would rather make an assist and have a teammate score than score myself." His junior college career high for assists is also a school record. He had 19 assists and 13 points in a game vs. West LA Community College from California in a Christmas tournament. His high point game is 28 vs. Cowley County, Kan., Community College.

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