On a night when Mark Fox gets excoriated for his inability to get more out of his talent, Georgia Tech and Auburn remind us all that things could be far worse.
Auburn and Georgia Tech each lost talent today to eligibility issues with the NCAA. For Auburn, the story gets worse as they lost to Barry University 100-95. Bruce Pearl’s trip to the Birmingham Tip-Off Club on Wednesday was rather wise considering he did not address them today (Friday).
Let’s start with what happened to Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech's Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson have been suspended indefinitely for NCAA rules violations, per release. Were self reported.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 2, 2017
This is unrelated to the FBI Investigation. This is a case of salting a wound for Josh Pastner’s Yellow Jackets… why?
— Josh Okogie (@CallMe_NonStop) October 28, 2017
Okogie broke his hand, he may be back for the game in Athens though if Georgia Tech plays their cards right and Okogie recovers properly. Losing Okogie and Jackson should be rather devastating for Josh Pastner.
Georgia Tech announces Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie suspended for taking apparel, meals from unnamed person.
— Dana O'Neil (@DanaONeilWriter) November 2, 2017
That trip to Shanghai, China to face UCLA is now going to be extremely challenging.
And then there’s Auburn.
— Trevor Bass (@REALTREVORBASS) November 2, 2017
It was such a calm evening in Birmingham with the Tip-Off Club and then this happens…
Auburn basketball: Wiley, Purifoy suspended indefinitely over eligibility issues https://t.co/D6GX1x8EVZ
— Star – Auburn Tigers (@AUTigers_Star) November 2, 2017
Without two of Auburn’s best returning players, this team takes a major hit. The Auburn frontcourt becomes much less frightening for opponents. Without Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, the Auburn Tigers hosted Barry University and this unexpected event happened.
Auburn was outrebounded by a Division II program and lost in Overtime. Surprisingly, the craziest disparity was not in the frontcourt, but on the unaffected perimeter. Barry shot 39% from three point range, Auburn only went 15% from beyond the arc. Auburn did not improve defensively although the loss of Wiley and Purifoy may have something to do with it, but Auburn was horrible on defense last season.
See, things could be much worse…