Thursday, September 8, 2016
Uno En Uno With: Austin Wiley, Auburn-commit
ZS: How was your trip to Auburn and which aspects of the school had the most appeal to you?
AW: My trip was great. I had fun. The coaching staff helped me make my decision. I am cool with all of them, especially coach (Bruce) Pearl and coach (Chuck) Person. Coach Person is my cousin and I've known him my whole life.
My family ties, the tradition, and the opportunity to get the basketball program where it needs to be at helped me choose Auburn. I want to start a new legacy. They were recruiting me since I was in ninth grade, when BP got hired.
If it wasn't about basketball, I would still go to Auburn. I just love the campus and love the people.
ZS: How do you describe the recruiting class of 2017 at Auburn?
AW: We are a solid class. We all bring different aspects with our games. I feel like we should be special.
Davion Mitchell and Chuma, I got to hang out with them this weekend. Davion's got quickness and ability in the pick and roll and just his ball handling is crazy. His bounce is impressive. I can't wait to get started with him.
Chuma, he brings toughness and attacking. He's going to have a lot of mismatches at the 3 and the 4 position and he's going to help me a lot.
He's going to help by stretching the floor and helping me rebound the ball.
ZS: What do you hope to accomplish this year at The Conrad Academy (FL)?
AW: I want to get better in the court and in the classroom, work on my body, get in top-shelf shape, and just mature as a human being.
What I like about Coach Wiseman's system is he likes to speed it up and I like to play at a fast pace. So I just think that will help me evolve my game.
I like the fact that I'm going to be playing against top-level competition. From what I've heard, the SIAA is serious and I'll be challenged every night.
It was real tough to Spain Park HS (AL) because I grew up in the Birmingham area and I was born and raised there. So, it was hard to say goodbye to everyone. Everyone was supportive of my decision, they wished me nothing but the best.
ZS: Who has been the most influential figure in your development as a player and your career?
AW: Both my parents. Aubrey Wiley and Vickie Orr Wiley. They've always pushed me to be the best student and the best athlete and they've given me life lessons that will help me in the long run. They've always told me to stay humble, to not judge people and to keep family first.
ZS: Any pressure, knowing your mom's legacy at Auburn and your father's career as a forward and professional overseas?
AW: No. None at all. They've done a good job of taking it off. I think I've created my own image and being my own person, staying true to myself and not trying to emulate others. I've always tried to stay on my own path.
ZS: What was your top-8 and what choices allowed you to ultimately choose Auburn over the others?
AW: Auburn, Alabama, Duke, LSU, Mississippi State, Florida, UAB, and Kansas were my top-8. I just wanted to see a program that's not where it's supposed to be ultimately get to where they want to be. I love the idea of being an underdog and surprising people.
ZS: What aspects of your game are you looking to refine and enhance during this season?
AW: My face-up game, shooting, and just getting more post moves into my arsenal. I'm going to add to what I'm already capable of.
Coach Brad Traina, he's been great with preparing me and getting my face-up game polished.
He's helping me improve my footwork, conditioning, and helping me add new facets to my arsenal of moves and finishing ability and really working at assessing my game and making it better.
It's great because we have another 7-footer in Aristide (Boya) who has coach Johann (Mpondo) showing him the ropes of the big man game and really helping him evolve. So I think we're going to be ready with our frontcourt this season.
ZS: What do you hope to accomplish this season, as the final chapter of your high school career?
AW: First and foremost to win a championship. That would put the cherry on top. I also want to win the league and help the program grow in here in Orlando. It's only a year, but I'd like to make the most of my time and opportunity here.