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Auburn just made the cut at No. 25 the last time The Athletic put out a preseason top 25 for the 2021-22 college basketball season.
This time, the Tigers had plenty of room to spare.
In the latest top 25 by the publication, Bruce Pearl’s team jumped up nine spots to No. 16. The reason? The transfer portal.
Skinny: The Tigers have added three really good transfers since my previous ranking, including arguably the best player in the portal in 7-1 sophomore forward Walker Kessler, who averaged 8.2 points to go along with 5.3 rebounds over the last 10 games at North Carolina. Sophomore point guard Wendell Green averaged 15.8 points and 5.0 assists at Eastern Kentucky, and 6-1 senior guard Desi Sills averaged 7.5 points off the bench at Arkansas. Bruce Pearl is bringing back two of his top four scorers from last season and is adding 6-10 freshman forward Jabari Smith, a top-five high school recruit.
With Auburn Arena likely at full capacity once again, this is going to be a fun basketball season on the Plains.