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Auburn excluded from preseason AP Top 25

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl celebrates with the fans after his win wins 75-66 Saturday.
AU MBB v Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 in Auburn, Ala. 
Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl celebrates with the fans after his win wins 75-66 Saturday. AU MBB v Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

In the recent Associated Press NCAA Basketball Top 25, there was a noticeable exclusion from the list. The Auburn Tigers who have had a meteoric rise to the spotlight of the College Basketball world has been placed 10 spots outside the Top 25 at number 35 overall. Despite finishing 20th with a 25-6 record overall at the end of the COVID-19 shortened season, Auburn only received eight Top 25 votes. Despite beating both Kentucky and Tennessee last season, both of whom are top 15 this year, Auburn is left with a chip on its shoulder. 

Auburn’s exclusion from the top 25 club was to be expected though, with the Tigers losing many of their star players to graduation and NBA talent scouts. Isaac Okoro is a potential top 10 draft pick this year, with other Auburn grads like Samir Dought, Austin Wiley, Anfernee McLemore, Danjel Purifoy and J’Von McCormick all having potential for NBA minutes. 

However, Auburn has brought in and fostered a good number players to fill in those roles. Jaylin Williams will look to get more starting minutes this year after playing great in a limited role near the end of last season. Similar stories come with players like Devan Cambridge and Jamal Johnson who will be some of the better shooters and vets on the team for the new freshmen players. That freshmen class being arguably the strongest that Auburn has ever brought in. It includes five-star point guard Sharife Cooper, four-star power forward standing at 6'9 JT Thor, and 3-stars Dylan Cardwell, Chris Moore and Justin Powell. All of which will potentially receive significant minutes this upcoming season. 

The Tigers will have their chance to prove themselves this season, having an early season matchup against first ranked Gonzaga on November 27th and facing 10th ranked Kentucky and second ranked Baylor, all three being within the first 12 games of the season. The 2020-2021 season will most likely be one rampant with uncertainty but Auburn will look to prove AP wrong and come back with a new look. 

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