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Bruce Pearl in AU Omaha shirt: Jabari Smith adds to ‘Auburn Brand’ of Cam Newton, Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley

Bruce Pearl, sporting an Auburn T-shirt in support of the school’s baseball team competing in the College World Series, said Jabari Smith’s potential of going No. 1 overall in this week’s NBA Draft will add to the “Auburn Brand.”

The Auburn basketball coach spoke with reporters hours before Butch Thompson’s Tigers hit the Omaha diamond for their CWS matchup with Arkansas about his team and Smith’s upcoming draft night.

He explained how Smith potentially going No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft would add to the “Auburn Brand.”

“Look, we had (Olympic gold-medal gymnast) Suni Lee,” he said. “Alright? We had Tank Bigsby, running back. We had Jabari Smith, you know? We have Sonny D (DiChiara) right now, hitting dingers in baseball. It’s just crazy. All he does is add to the Auburn brand – the Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas, Cam Newton brand. Man, I get in here talking about that, I think coach (Pat) Dye would be pretty happy about that. That’s the brand right there, man. Right there. He adds to it.”

The NBA Draft is Thursday, and the Orlando Magic have the first pick.

Smith, who worked out for the Magic earlier this month, is among the top candidates to have his name called first. Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren met with the Magic for multiple days last week, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero has been working out with former Magic guard Mike Miller.

Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.