5-star signee Austin Wiley joins Auburn basketball team, will debut Sunday

Austin Wiley.jpg

Austin Wiley joined the Auburn basketball program on Friday. (Wade Rackley/Auburn athletics)

The biggest addition to Auburn's basketball program since Charles Barkley is about to hit the hardwood.

Center Austin Wiley, a five-star 2017 signee, has been cleared by the NCAA and SEC and has officially joined the Auburn basketball program.

Wiley, who arrived on campus Thursday night and practiced with the team on Friday, is eligible immediately and will debut on Sunday's game with Mercer (12 p.m. CT, SEC Network).

"I am extremely excited to announce that Austin Wiley has been deemed a qualifier by the NCAA and has been admitted and enrolled in Auburn University," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement Friday. "He will compete for Auburn starting against Mercer on Sunday. We look forward to having Austin be a part of and play for the Auburn Tigers just as his parents did. I want to thank the SEC, NCAA, President Gogue, Jay Jacobs and all of those in the Auburn administration for all of their due diligence."

The 6-foot-11, 255-pound Wiley recently completed his high school coursework at Calusa Prep, based in Miami, Florida, and was playing basketball at Conrad Basketball Academy in Orlando, Florida, after playing his first three seasons at Spain Park in Hoover.

The son of former Auburn basketball stars Vickie Orr and Aubrey Wiley, Austin Wiley is one of the most highly-touted and important recruits in program history.

"It feels great. I feel really blessed right now," Austin Wiley said in a statement. "My hard work and dedication has paid off. Thanks to my parents and the coaches. I feel great. ... It feels like destiny."

As a junior at Spain Park, Wiley averaged 21.7 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game and as a sophomore he averaged 19.2 points and 12.2 rebounds, earning first team All-State in both seasons and was named Class 7A Player of the Year in 2016.

Wiley also played on the USA Basketball junior national team this summer.

He immediately adds an inside presence to an Auburn roster that is sorely lacking offensive production from the center position.

Horace Spencer, who was suspended for Thursday's game with Coastal Carolina following his Wednesday arrest for possession of marijuana along with guard Bryce Brown, and LaRon Smith offer more on the defensive end as rim protectors than as scorers.

Spencer is averaging 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds with 14 blocks in eight games and Smith is averaging 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds with 16 blocks in in nine games.