Pearl, Auburn entering stretch run without another big man

Pearl, Auburn entering stretch run without another big man

AP Sports Writer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Auburn coach Bruce Pearl says center Anfernee McLemore has had successful surgery on his left ankle.

Pearl says the operation on Sunday "went extremely well" and doctors think recovery will take about four months. McLemore fractured and dislocated his ankle in Saturday's loss to South Carolina.

Now, the already-undersized, 12th-ranked Tigers will try to close out their first regular season Southeastern Conference title since 1999 without their top eligible big man.

McLemore was averaging 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds while leading the league in blocked shots with 73.

Auburn has held out center Austin Wiley and forward Danjel Purifoy all season, leaving the Tigers as one of the smallest teams in major college basketball.

Now, the Tigers are down to eight available players. Freshman Chuma Okeme and Horace Spencer are likely to get more minutes inside.

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