AUBURN – Last year fans chanted “Amanda” over and over to celebrate coach Andy Enfield and his wife and former Maxim swimsuit cover Amanda Marcum making the Sweet 16. This week Auburn fans started the first week of FOOTBALL by chanting “free at last” for basketball coach Bruce Pearl’s suspension ending at midnight Sunday. Pearl and Enfield are running two of the three most improved programs based on a system that received 1,200 Facebook shares after its release by Fox Sports the opening week of football.
USC: In addition to being married to a former supermodel, Andy Enfield is worth a cool $100 million, took Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16, and then was greeted by USC Song Girls (see USA Today photo and story here) after choosing USC over UCLA and others. Enfield has since beaten UCLA for prized recruits Jordan McLaughlin (plays this season) and Bennie Boatwright (next), and convinced prize transfer Katin Reinhardt to come from UNLV. USC was the 146th best team in the country last year on www.valueaddbasketball.com, and the new projections show them getting an NCAA bid in 2015-16 as the 44th best team – the biggest improvement in the country (see table below for 25 most improved programs).
AUBURN: Meanwhile, at midnight Sunday morning, Bruce Pearl was finally allowed to recruit again. A few minutes later he landed star recruit Horace Spencer, and within a couple of days had added Danjel Purifoy and JUCO TJ Dunans to become one of only eight coaches with more than two top 60 recruits for next season according to CBS Sports. Those three help improve Auburn to a projected 50th best team in the country next season – behind only Mississippi State and USC in improvement.
However, Pearl’s squad is already projected to improve from 138th to 73rd THIS season after landing two players who can play immediately. The second leading scorer in the country is Niagara graduate Antoine Mason. The last time Auburn landed the top JUCO recruit in the country it was Cam Newton – who took them to the football title – and now they have done it on the basketball side with Cinmeon Bowers.
For 2016, players are assigned to the team that 247’s Crystal Ball predicts.
Fans can update their teams on the Google Sheet by clicking here and typing notes in column E. Changes made a verified and then the Value Add Scholarship database is updated complete with recalculated team ratings. USC and Auburn head up the list of the 25 teams projected to improve the most from the 2013-14 to the 2015-16 seasons.
If both programs live up to their predicted three touchdown wins on Saturday – against Fresno State and Arkansas – a little attention may turn to the two coaches in the stands who have shown how quickly the right coach can turned around a basketball program.
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|Most imp||Team||2015 Conf||2014||2015||2016||Improve|
|11||Nevada Las Vegas||MWC||84||28||19||65|
|21||Long Beach St.||BW||150||111||98||52|