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Say what you will about Auburn head basketball coach Bruce Pearl, but the man is a fantastic interview. On Monday, he joined OutKick founder Clay Travis on his morning radio show, OutKick the Coverage.
It did not disappoint either. The two talked about several different topics, including the NCAA Tournament, the job Rick Pitino has down at Iona and a whole lot more. Yes, the Tigers are in a self-imposed postseason ban, but that didn’t stop Pearl from saying good things about other teams from the SEC.
“I’ll tell you what, I feel good about Alabama, Arkansas and LSU,” Pearl said. “I think those three teams coming out of our conference have got a chance to make some noise.
“And if Tennessee could get their offense going a little bit more consistently, they could too. They can obviously defend, and they got really good personnel. They got [John] Fulkerson back. But I think our league has a chance to make some noise.”
It was solid praise for his conference, but don’t expect Pearl to have an SEC team winning it all. He’s got a couple other selections.
“With that said, give me Gonzaga and Baylor, and I might give you the field,” Pearl continued. “That’s how good I think those two teams are.”
It’s not a surprising take, considering how he feels about Gonzaga and head coach Mark Few. When Clay asked him about the impressive undefeated season the Bulldogs are having, Pearl made it clear that he believes Gonzaga is “the best team in college basketball.”
The conversation didn’t stop there, though.
Clay and Pearl kept churning out intriguing takes, including the difficulty of preparing for the NCAA Tournament. Teams often face opponents they aren’t too familiar with, so it’s an interesting dynamic compared to the regular season and conference play.
Things even got around to Rick Pitino and the job he’s done at Iona.
“Clay, he’s [Pitino] best I’ve gone up against,” Pearl stated. “And when you say that, think about all the different guys I’ve gone up against — all of them. Then to say he’s the toughest matchup, I guess that’s saying something.
“He knows what he wants to do. But the great thing about what he does, he knows what you want to do. He always knew what I wanted to do when I went up against him, and he took it away.”
Like I said, it’s a must-listen interview. The entire thing is amazing, and you won’t regret it. Check that segment from Monday out here, or listen to the entire show.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.