Auburn guards Harper, Brown are ill, expect to play Saturday

MINNEAPOLIS — Auburn guards Jared Harper and Bryce Brown came to open practice at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday feeling “under the weather.”
“Jared is under the weather. Bryce is also,” head coach Bruce Pearl said of Auburn’s ailing backcourt. “We’ve got a bunch of guys that are sniffling and hacking and coughing, but we don’t play today. Jared would be — he would be less than 100 percent if we had to play today. If we played yesterday, Bryce would have been less than 100 percent.”
Harper and Brown combined for 50 points in the Tigers’ regional final win over Kentucky. Neither player was concerned the illness would jeopardize playing in the Final Four on Saturday.

Bryce Brown
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

“Just a little bit under the weather,” said Harper. “I’m a little sick, but it’s not going to stop me from continuing to prepare for this game. This is a big moment for us as a team and us as a program. So I know I’m going to be ready.”
Auburn practiced for the second consecutive day at the home of the Minnesota Vikings and was the only team with a morning session on Friday. The schedule afforded players the opportunity to exit the stadium by lunchtime and get back to the hotel more than 24 hours before the team is scheduled to return Saturday to take on Virginia.
“This has been amazing,” junior center Austin Wiley said Friday. “When you’re growing up, you want to be a part of the Final Four, and the atmosphere is amazing and the basketball atmosphere is amazing. Just seeing everything and reminiscing on the past ones I have seen, now that I am here it’s just a blessing.”
With all film and preparation work accounted for, Auburn will meet once more as a team for a final breakdown of the methodical Cavaliers.
“I don’t think no team that we’ve played this season thus far compares to Virginia,” junior guard Samir Doughty said.
Brown, a senior with 61 points over the past three games, said part of the challenge ahead the next 24 hours is not thinking about holding a national championship trophy. The Tigers are being reminded they can only win the entire tournament in Monday’s title game by getting rid of Virginia in the semifinals.
“It is pretty tough,” Brown said. “We all want to win a national championship. That’s the goal.”
–By Jeff Reynolds (@ReynoldsJD), Field Level Media

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