The Auburn men’s basketball team begins its SEC Tournament play on Friday. If Tigers linebacker Deshaun Davis had his way, he’d be there to help out.
Davis, who played basketball at Vigor High School in Prichard, Ala., has been pushing for Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl to add him into the mix. Whether Davis is completely serious or not, he made his case for becoming a two-sport Tiger.
“Jared (Harper) gets tired sometimes,” Davis told AL.com. “I feel like I could come in and Kyrie (Irving) it a little bit, but (Pearl) never wants to give me an opportunity. I told him I got one more year, and I’ll probably stay around after the draft next year and give him a good couple minutes.”
If there was ever a year Pearl might consider plucking someone from the football team, this could be it.
Auburn suspended center Austin Wiley and forward Danjel Purifoy for the season after their eligibility came into question following the FBI’s investigation into college basketball. To make matters worse, the already shorthanded Tigers lost forward Anfernee McLemore to a broken tibia on Feb. 17.
Despite the lack of depth, the Tigers took a share of the SEC regular season championship and enter the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. Davis has been along for most of the ride, albeit as a fan in the stands at Auburn Arena.
Davis has tweeted at Pearl in an effort to get the coach’s approval to join the squad. Davis also joked he’s lost about 15 pounds this spring to get into basketball shape.
Auburn’s spring practice pauses after Thursday for spring break, which means Davis’ schedule should be open. While a trip to St. Louis doesn’t appear in the cards, Davis doesn’t sound ready to give up.
“I just pray every night I get the opportunity,” Davis said. “I feel like I can help them win the SEC Tournament.”