The question that has been on Auburn fans' minds for the last few months when it comes to basketball is "what's the deal with Danjel Purifoy?"
There's been a lot of blame placed on the NCAA, but they haven't been the hold up. The hold up has been the ACT Board and the fact his score was flagged for having too large of a jump from his first test to his second. Technically, he's been ok to play. However, if the ACT Board says he needs to take the test again, then Auburn could be facing NCAA issues for playing him.
So, he's sat on the bench and been a huge cheerleader for the team. He's a whole lot of fun to watch as he celebrates with his teammates. Not as much fun as he would be to watch on the court, though. In case you missed it, Tuco wrote about him a week or so ago and posted some highlight videos to go along with it. Now we finally have some word on when we might be able to expect a decision.
Pearl says they expect Danjel Purifoy's situation to be resolved by the end of the calendar year. Either cleared or partial qualifier— Jason Caldwell (@ITATJason) December 9, 2015
Right now some of you may be wondering about the "partial qualifier" statement, since those haven't been around for a while. Well, it now means that Purifoy will be allowed to remain in school and practice with the team, but he is not eligible to play. He will be eligible once he's completed a full year. It's similar to the situation of St. Johns' Marcus LoVett.
Getting Purifoy on the court would be a major boost for Auburn. There are some who say he would immediately be the best player on the floor. That's quite a statement when you see how well players like TJ Dunans and Kareem Canty have played for Auburn, this season. Hopefully he gets cleared. If not, we'll have to wait until next year.
Meanwhile, there's good news and kinda good news in regards to two injured Tigers.
The kinda good news is that while Tahj Shamsid-Deen is not ready to go just yet, he's getting close.
Auburn's Bruce Pearl said injured guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen is "probably not available" for Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) December 9, 2015
I'd still almost rather Tahj sit out until conference play, but I understand wanting to get his defensive abilities back out there as soon as possible.
The good news is that New Williams IS ready to go. He appeared on the court briefly a few weeks back, but for the most part he has not played in the regular season due to a knee injury. Now he's ready to go and add yet another scoring threat to a Tiger offense that has seen 5-6 players in double figures multiple times this year.
Bruce Pearl: Tahj Shamsid-Deen (right shoulder) "probably not available" vs MTSU. New Williams (knee) practicing. https://t.co/1Cb631nHEe— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) December 9, 2015
Finally, in some scheduling news, Bruce Pearl mentioned that Auburn will be travelling to UAB next season as the Blazers and Tigers keep up the renewal of that basketball rivalry. On top of that, the Tigers will play Middle Tennessee State during the 2016/17 season in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
Bruce Pearl says Auburn will play at UAB next year, Middle Tennessee at BJCC the following year— Jason Caldwell (@ITATJason) December 9, 2015
If you're wondering why Auburn is playing MTSU in the BJCC rather than in Auburn, remember that the Tigers' game against the Blue Raiders this Saturday will be played in Nashville, rather than in Murfreesboro.