‘Get buckets’: How Bruce Pearl plans to use Auburn basketball signee Tahaad Pettiford

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AUBURN — Auburn basketball signee Tahaad Pettiford is rated by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2024.

But don’t tell that to Tigers coach Bruce Pearl.

Pearl, who is looking to reload his roster after suffering an upset loss to Yale in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 22, has plans to use the incoming five-star freshman as an off-ball scorer. Pettiford’s listed measurements of 5-foot-10, 175 pounds have him in the mold of a point guard, but that’s not how Pearl sees him fitting in.

“Everyone assumed Tahaad was going to come in and be our point guard,” Pearl said in a news conference March 28. “He’s not. Tahaad is a scorer. He is an incredible athlete. He can make plays on both ends of the floor. He’s going to be one of the fastest, quickest, most explosive little guards I’ve ever had.”

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Pettiford’s composite ranking of .9908 makes him the fifth-highest-rated recruit to sign with Auburn in the modern recruiting era. Those above him include Yohan Traore in 2022 (.9916), Sharife Cooper in 2020 (.9920), Aden Holloway in 2023 (.9928) and Jabari Smith in 2021 (.9980).

A product of Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, Pettiford is the fourth McDonald’s All-American to sign with the Tigers in the last five recruiting cycles. Assistant coach Ira Bowman, a native of New Jersey, was pivotal in Pettiford’s recruitment.

Pettiford, who will be one of 12 players partipcating in the McDonald’s All-American Boys Game on Tuesday (8 p.m. CT, ESPN), averaged 19.1 points, 4.1 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game as a senior at Hudson Catholic, per stats kept by NJ.com. He also shot 33.5% from 3-point range as a member of the New Heights Lightning on the EYBL circuit.

“He’s not a true point guard,” Pearl said of Pettiford. “Can he play some? He…

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/buckets-bruce-pearl-plans-auburn-124700876.html

Author : The Montgomery Advertiser

Publish date : 2024-04-01 12:47:00

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