Auburn basketball put on a show in their first exhibition matchup of a three-game slate against Israeli National Teams during their Bruce Pearl-booked summer tour of the Holy Land. The under-20 team was up first, and with several upperclassmen leading the charge defensively, AU eviscerated a younger foe 117-56 in unfamiliar territory with unfamiliar rules and a different basketball than usual.
The stars of the show included first and second-year transfers (Johni Broome, a No. 25-wearing KD Johnson) as well as an upperclassman (Dylan Cardwell) and an incoming freshman (Yohan Traore). In essence, a contributor from every facet of the college journey’s conglomerate was involved in the destruction of the first foreign obstacle.
The journey only gets more difficult from here as the Israeli Select and National Teams await, though. It also is set to feature more discoveries as Pearl experiments with different starting lineup combinations.
As the competition level increases ten-fold, here are 2 starting lineups Auburn basketball could deploy in Israel
Zep Jasper, Allen Flanigan, Jaylin Williams, Yohan Traore, Johni Broome
First, we have the big lineup, where Zep Jasper would be the only player under six-foot-six. There’d be enough athleticism between Jaylin Williams, Yohan Traore, and Johni Broome in the frontcourt to cover for such a gamble, especially since Allen Flanigan might be the most impressive athlete on the roster now that he’s healed up from an Achilles injury.
Against the Israeli Select and Israeli National Teams, and eventually the Arkansas’, Kentucky’s, and Tennessee’s of the SEC, the Tigers need to win physical battles, and this lineup is as stout as it gets defensively while maintaining long-range shooting with Jasper’s steady handedness, and improved efficiency from a healthy Flanigan and a seasoned Williams.
What this arrangement also offers is a second unit energizer bunny group of Wendell Green Jr., KD Johnson, Chance Westry, and Dylan Cardwell that can wreak havoc on other second units not armed with that kind of athlete nos. six through nine on the depth chart.
Zep Jasper, KD Johnson, Allen Flanigan, Jaylin Williams, Dylan Cardwell
This isn’t the most likely starting lineup to hit the floor at any point this season, but it is one that should get some burn during various points as one that represents the most tenured Tigers on the roster.
In Israel against veteran national teams, this five represents the guys with the most time under Bruce Pearl and his staff’s schemes on the Plains. If nothing else, it’s a reward for last year’s run, for 60% of the lineup, getting through the postseason-less pandemic-stricken season, and for Flanigan and Williams, the possible culmination of a journey that started with a suspended NCAAB season.