AUBURN | Samir Doughty signed scholarship papers with Auburn on Sunday, making his transfer from Virginia Commonwealth official.
It was an easy decision for Doughty. Steven Pearl, Auburn’s first-year assistant coach and son of Bruce Pearl, made sure of it.
“He helped me out a lot,” Doughty said of Steven Pearl. “He made me feel real comfortable and helped make this process for me a lot easier.”
Doughty spent a lot of time during the weekend visit meeting with Steven Pearl, and the discussions weren’t limited to basketball. The two also developed a bond on a personal level, which erased any doubt Doughty might have had.
“I was real comfortable with Coach Steve (Pearl),” Doughty said. “He treated me like family, and that really helped me out. He’s a real cool guy and a good coach.”
Doughty, originally from Philadelphia, Pa., also felt comfortable around some of Auburn’s players. It helped that he already was familiar with two of them.
“I was with Horace (Spencer) basically the whole visit,” Doughty said. “I’ve known him for a very long time. He’s from Philly, and I have played against him since were were young. I also know Mustapha (Heron). I played against him in AAU. Knowing a couple of the players made the decision easier for me, too.”
Chuck Person also played a role in Doughty’s decision.
Person, Auburn’s associate head coach, spent time with Doughty and Doughty’s family members during the visit, including a lengthy breakfast on Sunday.
“I am real comfortable with all the coaches,” Doughty said. “And that was a big factor as to why I chose to come to Auburn. They treated me like family; everybody I talked to treated me like family.”
The environment around the program that Bruce Pearl has built in his four seasons at Auburn is one Doughty is excited to join.
“The players, the respect they have for the coaches, and the environment is one I can adapt to pretty quickly,” Doughty said. “It’s like a family at Auburn. I was looking for a family somewhere that I can win, and I think we are going to win here.”
Doughty, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 185 pounds, averaged nine points per game during his freshman season at VCU. He chose Auburn after also considering and visiting both UConn and Maryland.
“It came down to UConn and Auburn,” Doughty said. “And I want to thank UConn for recruiting me the way they did, and I appreciate what they did for me.”
Doughty projects as a combo guard at Auburn. He will move on campus next week and enroll in summer classes. Doughty will sit out the 2017-18 season and have at least two years of eligibility beginning in 2018.