Auburn Tigers men's basketball
The Auburn Tigers men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball team that represents Auburn University. The school competes in the Southeastern Conference in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Tigers play their home games at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Alabama on the university campus. The program began in 1906, and is currently coached by Bruce Pearl.
|Auburn Tigers men's basketball|
|All-time record||1,405–1,226–1 (.534)|
|Athletic director||Allen Greene|
|Head coach||Bruce Pearl (7th season)|
|Arena||Auburn Arena |
|Student section||The Jungle|
|Colors||Burnt Orange and Navy Blue|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1985, 1986, 1999, 2003, 2019|
|NCAA Tournament Round of 32|
|1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2018, 2019|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2018, 2019|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
|1928, 1960, 1999, 2018|
Auburn has won four conference regular season championships and two SEC Tournament championships. Auburn has appeared in the NCAA Tournament ten times, making it as far as the Final Four in 2019. 11 Auburn players have been named All-Americans and Auburn has had 92 All-SEC selections. Auburn has produced 31 NBA Draft picks, including Chuck Person (1986) and Chris Morris (1988), both of whom were selected with the fourth overall pick, the highest in Auburn history. Two Auburn players have been named SEC Player of the Year: Charles Barkley in 1984 and Chris Porter in 1999. Auburn has had five head coaches selected as SEC Coach of the Year a total of seven times, and former Auburn head coach Cliff Ellis was named National Coach of the Year by multiple outlets in 1999. Former Auburn player Charles Barkley was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Auburn has had 20 head men's basketball coaches since the program was started in 1906 by Mike Donahue. The program is currently coached by Bruce Pearl.
|Auburn Coaching History|
Notable former coachesEdit
Mike "Iron Mike" Donahue was Auburn's first head men's basketball coach, starting the program in 1906. He coached the program for 16 seasons, the longest tenure of any men's basketball coach in Auburn history, finishing with a record of 74–80–1 (.481). In addition to coaching basketball, Donahue served as athletic director and coached the football, baseball, track, and soccer teams while at Auburn.
Ralph "Shug" JordanEdit
Though perhaps more famous for his career as a football coach at Auburn, Ralph "Shug" Jordan coached the Auburn men's basketball program for 10 seasons prior to becoming the head football coach. Jordan was a football assistant coach when he coached the men's basketball program.
After playing football and basketball for Auburn from 1929 to 1932, Jordan became the head men's basketball coach in 1933. He coached until 1942, when he was called overseas to fight as an officer in World War II. Following his service, Jordan returned to Auburn to coach the 1945–46 team. He left Auburn to become the head men's basketball coach at Georgia after the season. Jordan finished with a record of 95–77 (.552) at Auburn.
Joel Eaves was Auburn's 12th head men's basketball coach, coaching from 1949 to 1963. Eaves was a former Auburn football and basketball player, playing from 1934 to 1937 under head coach "Shug" Jordan.
Auburn won its first ever SEC championship under Eaves in 1960, finishing 12–2 in the conference and 19–3 overall. Eaves was named SEC Coach of the Year following the 1960 season. Eaves finished with a 213–100 (.681) record at Auburn, making him the winningest men's basketball coach in Auburn history.
Joel Eaves was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. Auburn's Memorial Coliseum was renamed after Eaves to Joel H. Eaves Memorial Coliseum in 1987, and later to Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in 1993.
Sonny Smith was the 15th head men's basketball coach at Auburn, coaching for 11 seasons from 1978 to 1989.
Smith coached Auburn to the NCAA Tournament in 5 consecutive seasons, 1984 to 1988, including a run to the Elite Eight in 1986 before losing to eventual national champion Louisville. In addition to leading Auburn to its first ever NCAA Tournament in 1984, he also coached Auburn to its first SEC Tournament championship in 1985. Smith is the only head men's basketball coach in Auburn history to coach three consecutive 20-win seasons, doing so from 1984 to 1986. Sonny Smith was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1984 and 1988.
Smith coached his final season at Auburn in 1989, leaving to become the head men's basketball coach at VCU. Smith finished with a record of 173–154 (.529). Smith was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Cliff Ellis was the 17th head men's basketball coach at Auburn. He coached for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004.
Ellis had some success early in his career, leading Auburn to the NIT three times in his first four seasons and being named SEC Coach of the Year in 1995. His most successful season at Auburn was the 1998–99 season, where he led the Tigers to an SEC regular season championship and the program's first ever #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, in which they reached the Sweet Sixteen. Ellis was named both SEC and National Coach of the Year in 1999. Ellis would take Auburn to the NCAA Tournament two more times: reaching the Second Round in 2000 and returning to the Sweet Sixteen in 2003.
Ellis was released following the 2003–04 season after finishing the season with a 14–14 record. Auburn faced NCAA sanctions over alleged recruiting violations during the season, but Ellis was not found at fault after the investigation. Ellis finished with a record of 186–125 (.598) at Auburn, trailing only Eaves on the school's all-time wins list.
Bruce Pearl became Auburn's 20th head men's basketball coach on March 18, 2014. He led Auburn to its third SEC regular season championship in the 2017–18 season and its second SEC Tournament championship in 2019, en route to leading Auburn to its first ever Final Four in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Pearl's current record at Auburn is 138–92 (.600).
Awards and honorsEdit
National Coach of the Year
- Cliff Ellis (1999)
SEC Coach of the Year
- Joel Eaves (1960)
- Bob Davis (1975)
- Sonny Smith (1984, 1988)
- Tommy Joe Eagles (1990)
- Cliff Ellis (1995, 1999)
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Awards and honorsEdit
Auburn has retired six jersey numbers.
|Auburn Tigers retired numbers|
|No.||Player||Position||Career||Year of Retirement|
|Jack Stewart||1931–32||College Humor Magazine|
|Rex Fredrick||1958–59||Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press|
|Henry Hart||1959–60||Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press|
|Lee DeFore||1965–66||Helms Athletic Foundation|
|John Mengelt (2)||1969–70, 1970–71||Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press|
|Mike Mitchell||1977–78||Converse Yearbook|
|Charles Barkley||1983–84||Basketball Times, National Association of Basketball Coaches|
|Chuck Person (2)||1984–85, 1985–86||Sporting News, McGregor, Basketball Times, National Association of Basketball Coaches|
|Wesley Person||1993–94||Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association|
|Chris Porter||1998–99||Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association, Basketball Times, College Hoops Insider, John Wooden Award|
|Doc Robinson||1998–99||Associated Press, College Hoops Insider|
|Source:"Auburn All-Americas". Auburn Tigers. Archived from the original on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-07-24.|
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- Charles Barkley (2006)
SEC Player of the Year
SEC Tournament MVP
SEC Rookie of the Year
- Chris Porter (1999)
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
USBWA Most Courageous Award
- Wes Flanigan (1997)
Auburn in the NBAEdit
NBA Draft picksEdit
Auburn has produced 31 NBA Draft picks, including 8 first round picks. The most players that have been selected from Auburn in a single draft was 3 in the 1988 draft. Chuck Person and Chris Morris both hold the record for the highest draft pick from Auburn, as each were selected 4th overall in their respective drafts.
Auburn has had 4 players that transferred to another school before being selected in the NBA Draft.
|1979||3||49||Cedrick Hordges||South Carolina||Chicago Bulls|
|1992||2||24||Matt Geiger||Georgia Tech||Miami Heat|
|1996||2||33||Moochie Norris||West Florida||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2009||1||29||Toney Douglas||Florida State||Los Angeles Lakers|
Undrafted free agentsEdit
- Myles Patrick (1980–1981)
- Aaron Swinson (1994)
- Adam Harrington (2002–2003)
- Pat Burke (2002–2003, 2005–2007)
- Marquis Daniels (2003–2013)
- Jared Harper (2019–present)
Awards and honorsEdit
- Charles Barkley (1993)
Rookie of the Year
- Chuck Person (1987)
- Eddie Johnson (1980, 1981)
- Mike Mitchell (1981)
- Charles Barkley (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997)
Auburn in the OlympicsEdit
|1992||Charles Barkley (USA)||Gold|
|1996||Charles Barkley (USA)||Gold|
Championships and postseasonEdit
Conference regular season championshipsEdit
Auburn has won four regular season conference championships in its history: one Southern Conference championship in 1928 and three Southeastern Conference championships in 1960, 1999, and 2018. Auburn also won the SEC West Division championship in 1999.
|Year||Conference||Overall record||Conference record||Coach|
Auburn has won the SEC Tournament twice: in 1985 under coach Sonny Smith and again in 2019 under Bruce Pearl. The 1985 Auburn Tigers won the tournament after beating Alabama 53–49 in overtime. That 1985 Auburn team was the first ever to win four games in four days to win the SEC Tournament. In 2019, the Tigers earned a bye in the Tournament during the regular season and won games against Missouri, South Carolina, and Florida before crushing Tennessee in the final game 84–64. Auburn has reached the SEC Tournament final two other times: in 1984, where they lost to Kentucky 51–49, and in 2000, where they lost to Arkansas 75–67. Auburn has had three SEC Tournament MVPs: Charles Barkley in 1984, Chuck Person in 1985, and Bryce Brown in 2019.
Auburn has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 10 times. Their combined record is 17–10.
|1984||5||East||First Round||Charlotte, NC||12 Richmond||L 71–72|
|South Bend, IN
South Bend, IN
2 North Carolina
|Long Beach, CA
Long Beach, CA
1 St. John's
|9 San Diego
9 Oklahoma State
4 Ohio State
2 Iowa State
|7 Saint Joseph's
2 Wake Forest
|San Diego, CA
San Diego, CA
|13 College of Charleston
|Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City, UT
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, MO
|12 New Mexico State
1 North Carolina
Auburn has appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 6 times. Their combined record is 4–6.
|1993||–||First Round||Clemson, SC||Clemson||L 72–84|
|1995||–||First Round||Auburn, AL||Marquette||L 61–68|
|1996||–||First Round||Auburn, AL||Tulane||L 73–87OT|
West Lafayette, IN
|8 UT Martin
Auburn Sports ArenaEdit
Beard–Eaves–Memorial Coliseum is a 10,500-seat multipurpose arena that opened in 1969 under the name Memorial Coliseum. It was renamed after former player and coach Joel Eaves to Joel H. Eaves Memorial Coliseum in 1987. It was renamed for the final time to Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in 1993, adding the name of former Auburn athletic director Jeff Beard.
Auburn boasted a 393–182 (.683) overall record at Beard–Eaves–Memorial Coliseum. Auburn had a winning record at home in 37 of the 42 seasons Auburn played in the Coliseum. Auburn's 30-game home winning streak from the 1997–98 season to the final game of the 1999–2000 season was the longest in Coliseum history. It was the nation's second longest current winning streak at the time and is the second longest home winning streak in Auburn history.
Auburn played its final season in Beard–Eaves–Memorial Coliseum in the 2009–10 season. Auburn's final game in Beard–Eaves–Memorial Coliseum was on March 3, 2010; Auburn beat Mississippi State 89–80.
On June 29, 2007, Auburn announced plans to build a new $92.5 million basketball arena and practice facilities that would eventually be completed for the 2010–11 season. The arena was named Auburn Arena. With a seating capacity of 9,121, Auburn Arena is the smallest men's basketball arena in the SEC. Aside from the main court, the arena also contains two practice courts, a weight room, 12 suites, coaches offices, the Auburn Ticket Office, and the Lovelace Athletic Museum.
Auburn played its first game in Auburn Arena on November 12, 2010, losing to UNC Asheville in overtime 70–69. Auburn's first win in Auburn Arena came on November 21, 2010, when Auburn beat Middle Tennessee 68–66. Auburn currently holds a 115–53 (.685) record in Auburn Arena.
Sometimes referred to as the "Iron Bowl of Basketball," Auburn and Alabama have a fierce rivalry that dates back to 1924. Auburn and Alabama first met in the Southern Conference Tournament on March 1, 1924, and Auburn lost 19–40. The two programs did not meet again until 1941 in the SEC Tournament, a matchup that Auburn lost again 16–38. The programs have played regularly since 1948, meeting at least twice every season starting in 1949. Auburn's first win in the rivalry came in their sixth meeting on December 20, 1949, when Auburn beat Alabama 45–40.
Auburn and Alabama have met in the SEC Tournament 9 times, including Auburn's 53–49 overtime victory over Alabama in the 1985 SEC Tournament championship game. Alabama leads the all-time series 97–65.
Georgia is Auburn's oldest rival, first meeting in 1908 in Columbus, GA. Auburn won that game 34–20. Auburn and Georgia have played at least once every year since 1945. Auburn leads the all-time series 96–95.
Though Auburn and UAB have met just 21 times, the two programs have a strong history. The first game between the two schools was played on November 26, 1982, a matchup won by Auburn, 63–61. The programs met 16 more times over the next two decades until the series was discontinued after the 1999–2000 season. In 2015, Auburn and UAB agreed to a four-game series that reignited the rivalry. Auburn leads the all-time series 11–10.
Auburn's student section is known as The Jungle. Auburn held a vote to name their student section at the start of the 2011–12 season, and The Jungle was chosen from several options. Auburn officially started The Jungle on January 11, 2012 for the Auburn–Kentucky game. The Jungle was awarded the Sixth Man Award at the 2012 team banquet for its "outstanding support throughout the season and making Auburn Arena one of the loudest venues in the SEC."
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