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Basketball Preview - Point Guards

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It’s a new era at PG for Auburn as J’von McCormick takes over for Jared Harper as PG1.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Auburn vs Kentucky Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Today, we’ll start looking at this year’s roster. Obviously there has been some turnover in the roster with 5 players moving on after last year and 8 new players on this year’s roster. Auburn will have a new starting backcourt this year and that starts at the Point Guard as J’Von McCormick will take over for Jared Harper as the starting Point Guard this season. Supporting him will be Tyrell “Turbo” Jones who is one of Auburn’s highly regarded freshman that joined the program this year.

#5 J’Von McCormick - Senior, New Orleans, Louisiana

Last summer, Auburn needed another piece in the backcourt after Davion Mitchell opted to transfer to Baylor. In Bruce Pearl’s tenure at Auburn, he has had tremendous luck with the Junior College players he has brought to campus. First it was Cinmeon Bowers, next it was Malik Dunbar and Bruce has found another JUCO gem with J’Von McCormick.

McCormick is 6’0” and 185 pounds. He played 12 minutes a game last season averaging 4.1 points a game. He played the point when Jared would get a rare breather but also played some with Jared last season too. But as the season went on, J’Von earned more playing time, by virtue of playing better and by necessity when Jared got into foul. McCormick’s season high in minutes was 23 in the SEC Championship game when Jared picked up 2 fouls in the game’s first 3 minutes.

McCormick’s best scoring outing came against New Mexico State when he scored 16 points and Auburn needed every single one of them to survive Round 1. There is no Final Four or magical run through the NCAA Tournament without that effort from J’Von that afternoon.

McCormick has also given changed jersey numbers this year and if history repeats itself, J’Von’s gonna have a huge senior season. The #5 jersey has been the jersey to wear over the past few years as Mustapha Heron and Chuma Okeke have taken their turns wearing #5 for Auburn for the last 3 years. Now insert McCormick into the #5 jersey as he also takes over for Jared Harper as the Tigers starting Point Guard. McCormick played his best basketball of the season towards the end of the year and let’s face it, Auburn doesn’t get out of Round 1 without J’Von.

While McCormick wasn’t a high volume 3-point shooter last year (he was just 10-20 last season), J’Von showed on so many occasions last year that he isn’t afraid to drive into the paint and absorb contact.

Here’s a quote after the season from Bruce Pearl about McCormick’s progress throughout the season.

“Just enormous growth — as much as any player I’ve ever coached I think from the beginning of the season to the end.”

To see where J’Von was in November and December and compare that to March, it’s a complete 180. With a full off-season to get better, I’m excited to see what J’Von does for an encore this year. Based on his play in the postseason, he looked to ready to step in for Harper as Auburn’s next PG1.

#0 Tyrell “Turbo” Jones - Freshman, Chicago, Illinois

It’s gonna be weird seeing someone besides Horace Spencer wear #0 but Tyrell “Turbo” Jones is the man who will don the #0 jersey for Auburn this year.

Jones is 6’1”, 170 pounds and according to 247 Sports, he was a four-star prospect ranked 116th in the 2019 class. Jones is known for his speed and passing and he looks to have a big role on this year’s team as the primary backup to J’Von McCormick at Point Guard. Turbo is from Chicago but played his high school ball in Orlando.

Turbo played most of his senior season with a lot of pain in his shin and had surgery at the beginning of June for a left tibial stress fracture. With the surgery behind him, Jones looked healthy and good to go at Tip-Off at Toomer’s.

Jones is thought of more as a combo guard so we’ll see how well he handles the point so with that said, perhaps we see him a little at the 2 this year. Remember, Bruce had Jared and J’Von on the court together last year with Jared playing off the ball in those instances. Perhaps we see J’Von and Turbo on the court at times to spell Samir. The number of combinations is really endless when you look at the depth of this basketball team.

While it’s on record that Auburn will player a bit slower tempo this year, I’m curious to see how Auburn plays with Turbo on the floor. Perhaps the Tigers will rely more on transition with Jones out on the court. Jones is an improving 3-point shooter and with all the 3-pointers that Auburn lost off of last year’s team, the Tigers need to develop as many shooters as possible.

Coming up next, we’ll have a look at Auburn’s Shooting Guards led by Samir Doughty.