For a point guard who emerged as one of Conference's USA's top players as a freshman, Kareem Canty sure seems to be struggling with his decision making these days.
The Marshall transfer first committed to Auburn after visiting the school in late April. Then he changed his mind, reopened his recruitment and eventually chose South Florida in mid-May. Now apparently he has reconsidered once more and is flipping back to Auburn again.
"My heart was in Auburn and I just couldn't turn down playing for Coach Pearl in the SEC," Canty told ESPN.com on Tuesday night.
New Auburn coach Bruce Pearl will surely tolerate a little bit of indecisiveness if it means landing his point guard of the future and one of the most coveted transfers available this offseason. The 6-foot-1 Canty averaged 16.3 points and 5.5 assists per game as a freshman at Marshall, earning third-team all-league honors and making the C-USA all-freshman team.
Canty is the second transfer Pearl has landed in just a couple months on the job, joining ex-New Mexico State guard K.C. Ross-Miller. Unlike Ross-Miller, Canty will have to sit out next season but will have three years eligibility remaining afterward.
It's not totally clear why Canty changed his mind a second time, but one factor could be that South Florida coach Orlando Antigua also secured a commitment from Maryland transfer Roddy Peters. Had both Peters and Canty been part of the same backcourt, they would have had to share ball handling responsibilities or Canty would have played mostly off ball as a scoring guard.
South Florida's loss is a critical boost for an Auburn program in need of a talent overhaul. The Tigers haven't finished with a winning record since 2009, haven't made the NCAA tournament since 2003 and haven't produced an NBA draft pick since 2001.
Pearl won't reverse Auburn's fortunes instantly, but his track record suggests it won't be long before the Tigers are relevant. And judging by Canty's freshman season at Marshall, there's a good chance he'll be a cornerstone of that rebuilding process.
For more Auburn news, visit AuburnSports.com.
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