By LARRY VAUGHT
Mississippi junior point guard Daeshun Ruffin was committed to Auburn for 11 days this summer before deciding to re-open his recruitment while adding he was “still interested” in Auburn.
Apparently the Tigers are still just has interested in the 5-8 scoring machine since Auburn coach Bruce Pearl apparently will be at Marshall County Hoopfest Saturday morning to watch Ruffin play at 10:30 a.m. CST against Curie (Ill.).
I watched Ruffin score 37 points on 15-for-27 shooting — he was 6-for-9 on 3-pointers — along with grabbing five rebounds, making four steals and dishing out two assists in a 65-44 victory Thursday night over Lausanne Collegiate and 6-11 UK recruiting target Moussa Cisse.
Ruffin reminds me of Jared Harper, Auburn’s point guard last year who helped the Tigers reach the Final Four because of his ability not only to hit 3-point shots but also create angles to get his shots inside or feed teammates. He’s also the type of intense competitor that seems to thrive under Pearl.
Ruffin said after Thursday’s win that he did not know Pearl might be coming to watch him play.
“It is always a big deal when coaches come to your game. I just use it as a reason to go out and show coaches that I am a good player,” Ruffin said.
Did he see Calipari watching Cisse, a player Ruffin calls a good friend and potential lottery pick in the NBA draft?
“I saw him (Calipari). I do not pay much attention to who is there when the game is going on,” Ruffin said. “But if does feel good to play well knowing a coach like that was in the arena even if watching me was not the reason he came.”
Ruffin now has about 10 scholarship offers that include LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Houston and others.
“I am thinking about recruiting but not too much. I am trying to win a state championship this year but when the time comes I will think more about it,” Ruffin said.
Would it make an impact if Pearl does make a 10:30 a.m. Saturday game to see him play?
“Of course there are certain things that stick out when you have to make a big decision to go to school and make sure the coach really loves you and wants you. You remember certain things,” Ruffin said.