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Auburn Basketball news: Five-star center Austin Wiley immediately eligible

Christmas has come early for Bruce Pearl and the Tigers.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Auburn vs LSU Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Auburn Tigers received an early Christmas gift on Friday afternoon as 2017 five-star center Austin Wiley has been ruled eligible to enroll in the spring semester and join the basketball team right away.

Wiley is expected to be in uniform for the Tigers on Saturday as they face the Mercer Bears, per Scout’s Evan Daniels.

This is obviously very significant news for Auburn. Originally a 2017 recruit, Wiley was their highest-ranked recruit in the ten year history of the ESPN Top 100 (#17).

Wiley also provides relief for the Tigers on the court this season, as they’ve been a relatively good team (7-2), that have struggled mightily with rebounding (229th of 351 teams in the country). Having the 6’10 big man for the final three nonconference games (Mercer, UConn, Oklahoma), and SEC play, could be a huge difference maker for the Tigers.