Bruce Pearl reigns in top-10 class after serving suspension

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Well, that didn't take long. When Bruce Pearl stepped down as head coach at Tennessee, he was well-known as a winning coach who could also recruit with the best of them.

But after the fiery manager was hit with a show-cause penalty that made it so he couldn't speak or communicate with recruits for the last three years, some wondered if he would still be able to bring in a top class when he was free again.

That recruiting stipulation ended midnight on Aug. 24.

And within only a few days, the Auburn coach had amassed a recruiting class that is shaping to be one of the most impressive in the nation.

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Two Top-60 prospects

Pearel met with a four-star recruit in his office as soon as the clock struck midnight that Saturday night, according to CBS Sports.

The next day, Auburn hosted its elite camp, which brought out some of the top targets for the next four years. 

The Tigers had already been blessed with the decision of Danjel Purifoy to make a national commitment on television during the Elite 24 dunk contest in Brooklyn.

The 6-foot-6 recruit chose Auburn despite having many offers as the 56th-ranked player by 247Sports. Most impressive of all, he gave Auburn invaluable free advertising with his decision to announce his decision to a nationwide audience.

Then four-star forward Horace Spencer met with Pearl and the 57th-ranked player committed shortly after. A 6-foot-8, 250-pounder, Spencer told ESPN he was excited because he would be able to play at power forward, rather than being forced into a center role as some schools were tempted to do.

That leaves Pearl with a solid foundation for the future already and that's after he's only truly been recruiting for less than a week.

Rounding out the recruiting trail

That didn't mean Pearl was done, however.

Far from it. For a competitive coach like Bruce Pearl, early success just motivates him to work even harder, which is why he was up until 3:15 a.m. Sunday chatting up prospects over the phone.

That's how he landed junior college transfer T.J. Dunans, who might be the most exciting prospect of them all. The 6-foot-5 point guard played for Columbia State last year and averaged 22.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

Most impressively, Dunans showed big-play ability by scoring 52 points in a postseason loss, though it did come against inferior competition.

It's been a long wait in the desert for Pearl, who had to sit out those three years due to recruiting violations which were certainly his own fault.

But it's nice to see him return in such a fiery way.

At the very least it will make Auburn, a team that is far from a powerhouse, a must-see program to watch out for over the next few years.

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