ATLANTA — The season is still months away, but excitement isn’t lacking when it comes to the Auburn basketball program.
Rising sophomore Austin Wiley took home a bronze medal after competing in the FIBA U19 World Cup while incoming freshman Chuma Okeke earned a place in the spotlight at Team USA training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Looking further into the future, there’s even more to be pumped about — especially for Auburn commit E.J. Montgomery.
“I’m very excited about going to Auburn,” Montgomery said. “Great coaching staff, I’m just ready to play with the guys.”
Montgomery is a 6-foot-10, 215-pound power forward who will add even more depth to the Tigers’ bigs when he arrives after the 2017-18 season. The Marietta, Ga., native committed to Auburn early, largely because of coach Bruce Pearl and the relationships he formed with the coaching staff on the Plains.
Wiley is already having an impact on his future teammate, too. Montgomery told SEC Country’s Joe Mussatto he is paying close attention to Wiley’s performance and even modeling his game after him in some ways.
“Yes, because he always play hard,” Montgomery said. “He goes for every rebound and that’s what I try to do, too.”
Most notably, Montgomery was offered by Baylor, North Carolina State, UCLA and Miami.
Those are big-time offers with a lot of time left until his graduation from Wheeler High School, but fear not — Montgomery, with a smile, said his commitment to Auburn is “pretty firm,” and his admiration for Pearl is obvious.
“Just always being there,” Montgomery said of his soon-to-be coach. “He always talks to you every game just, for me it was the loyalty of always being there for me.”
Montgomery is currently the 12th best power forward according to the ESPN top 100 rankings and the second-best player in the state of Georgia.
Check out the whole video interview from the Adidas Gauntlet in Atlanta below:
SEC Country’s Joe Mussatto contributed to this post.