Bruce Pearl has built an incredible reputation with undersized and quick guards that includes guys like Jared Harper, J’Von McCormick, and Sharife Cooper. Pearl looks to continue that streak with returning sophomore guard, Wendell Green Jr.
Green, who transferred to Auburn from Eastern Kentucky this past offseason where averaged 15.8 points a game and five assists a game as well. Green then transferred to Auburn as a freshman in May of 2021 to compete for a starting job with another incoming transfer senior Zep Jasper and sophomore KD Johnson. Green would go on to play in all 34 games Auburn played starting in just the first five games, after the first five games, Green took a very valuable bench role where he went on to average 12 points and 5.1 assists per game.
Green looks to take an even bigger role into 2022-2023 and improve on his numbers while helping the Tigers to another great season.
Biggest Strength: Offense
Green proved last year that he was one of the better and more reliable scoring and facilitating options on the offensive end many times throughout last year. When Green was on the floor, the offense ran better and smoother, and the other four guys other there no matter who was playing to the best of their abilities. Green led the SEC this past season in total plus/minus by a very wide margin at plus 208 which shows how much of an impact he makes not just for himself but for the game in general.
Green also has a great ability to get hot and stay hot during a game. He had eight games this year where he had 19 or more points in a game while also having seven games where he had at least seven assists.
Green shot the ball very well from the free throw line at 84% so he was incredibly valuable at the end of games while trying to close out an opponent. He also showed signs of being clutch and making the big play, for instance, when he drove the length of the floor and scored the winning basket against Georgia.
Green can improve on his efficiency and his percentage from the 3-point range, but it is great to see such great confidence and swag in Green’s game.
What they can improve on? Consistency
Green was very relied on last year to run the offense when he was on the floor and he has a lot of offensive success throughout the year, but he had a few games and a few moments where his efficiency whether it was from the field or from three-point range or maybe with turnovers, was lacking.
Green shot the ball at 31.7% from three-point range last year which could see some improvement but he also shot five threes a game so he was still effective, just not very efficient.
Green also averaged 2.2 turnovers a game this past year which for a freshman point guard playing over 26 minutes a game is not bad but I know the coaching staff and himself want to see great improvement to those numbers in particular.
Best Moment from 2021: Pair of great games against Alabama
Green had a lot of amazing moments from his freshman season at Auburn including the game-winner in Athens against Georgia, the 19 points in his first game for the Tigers against Morehead State, or even the almost triple-double against Vandy where he went for 12 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.
But, I do believe that two of his best performances of the year came against the same team from across the state. Green totaled 42 points along with 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his two games combined against Alabama.
In the first game at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Green went for 19 points and 3 steals and was an incredible spark off the bench while making some circus plays to quiet the Alabama crowd. In the second game against the crimson tide, Green went for 23 points and totaled 8 rebounds in Auburn.
Expectations for 2022-23: Star
With both Jasper and Johnson coming back with Green, the Auburn backcourt just looks to keep getting better and better in 2022, especially with the additions of Tre Donaldson and Chance Westry. However, I would look for Green to take the next step and maybe take a lead on this backcourt group even if he doesn’t start.
Auburn's roster was set up last year with it being very frontcourt heavy with guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Walker Kessler, Jaylin Williams, and even Dylan Cardwell. This season I would expect them to still be loaded there but have much more experience and guys in the backcourt and one of the first guys you think of is Green.
Hopefully, Green is ready and prepared for the new role as we get closer and closer to the start of the next basketball season.