Former Spain Park standout, Wiley, will play for Auburn Sunday

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

AUBURN – Rumors have been swirling for a few days now that 5-star Auburn basketball commit and former Spain Park standout Austin Wiley would be joining the Tigers early and might even start playing before the new year.

A tweet from Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl early Friday of the team at a lunch included Wiley and seemed to verify that he had joined the team. Jeff Goodman broke the news a little bit later on Friday that Bruce Pearl had told ESPN Wiley had joined the team and started practicing.

Wiley in the 2016 Final Four. (File)

Wiley in the 2016 Final Four. (File)

Less than a year ago, the 6-foot-11 standout, was preparing to play holiday tournaments with Spain Park and had yet to be named Co-Player of the year on our All-County team, an honor he shared with Alabama commit Alex Reese.

After the Jags lost in the Final Four, Wiley decided to transfer to Calus Prep in Miami, now he will be suiting up for the Tigers this Sunday, and Pearl has said the young star will play against Mercer, a game that can be seen on the SEC Network starting at noon.

This is great news for the Tigers who like to shoot a lot of 3-pointers and don’t have much of an inside game. Wiley, now the tallest and biggest player on the Tigers’ roster, will make an immediate impact in the post for Auburn.

The Tigers, who currently rank ninth in the SEC in rebounding, 297th in the country in rebounding margin and 250th in the country in total rebounds, will enjoy the presence of a big body down low.

In his last season for Spain Park, Wiley averaged 21.7 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game leading the Jags to the 7A Final Four. He now has bigger hopes doing something not even Charles Barkley did and that’s leading Auburn to its first final four in school history.