Bruce Pearl is Auburn's basketball coach. It really happened. All of a sudden, the Tigers have a coach with the ability to create consistent long-term success. The only questions: When, exactly, will that success arrive? What are the expectations for Year 1 or the Pearl era?
Pearl has a history of quick turnarounds. When he was hired at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Panthers were 58-108 in the previous six seasons. In Pearl's first year, they went 16-13, but in Year 2, they were 24-8 and made it to the NCAA Tournament. Tennessee's pre-Pearl history wasn't nearly as bad as Auburn's but the Vols saw some struggles. Buzz Peterson was 61-59 (29-35 in SEC play) from 2001-05, and his teams never advanced to the Big Dance. In Pearl's first year at Knoxville, the Volunteers went 22-8, won the SEC East and made it back to the tournament.
Since Auburn last made the NCAA Tournament in 2003, the Tigers have compiled a 159-182 overall record and a 58-122 mark in conference play. They've made one NIT appearance in 2009 and burned through three head coaches. Obviously, Pearl is tasked with building this program out of a pretty deep crater.
So what do you expect out of Auburn basketball next season? Vote in our poll and share your opinion in the comments.