The Auburn Tigers will not have one of their best players to kick off the new college basketball season.
Star guard Allen Flanigan, is expected to miss at least three months after having surgery to repair a right Achilles injury, Quad-City Times reports.
This is a huge blow to Auburn, as Flanigan will be one of the top returning players in the conference. The 6-foot-6 guard also has the potential to be a first-round pick. He was projected as the No. 19 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft in ESPN’s most recent NBA mock draft.
Flanigan, a junior this coming season, more than doubled his playing time as a sophomore and averaged over 14 points per game. He averaged 1.6 threes per game while shooting over 30% from deep. His role continued to expand throughout the season, and he quickly became one of the best offensive talents in the SEC.
Flanigan was also a thorn in Kentucky’s side, as he scored 21 points in the home win over the Cats, then dropped 23 in the thriller at Rupp Arena that Kentucky barely won. He scored 20+ three times in his final six games last season.
The Tigers will still largely be just as lethal when it comes to tournament time, as the guard should be back in action by March, but they’ll likely slide in the rankings, especially prior to the season’s commencement.
With Flanigan set to have a large role, the Tigers were recently ranked as the 21st-best program in ESPN’s way-too-early rankings. We’ll see how they drop, but with Bruce Pearl’s side having had a solid last few years, I’d expect them to stay as a top-25 team throughout the season.