MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) — Auburn star Jared Harper and some of his teammates are dealing with an illness that he hopes will be better by Saturday night.
Harper started feeling sick Thursday night and began taking some medicine, and team doctors gave him a shot Friday morning. He was still sniffling during his media rounds before taking the floor for the Tigers’ open practice ahead of their semifinal date with Virginia.
Fellow guard Bryce Brown felt the worst of it on Thursday, but was on the rebound Friday.
“We’ve got a bunch of guys that are sniffling and hacking and coughing, be we don’t play today,” coach Bruce Pearl said.
The flu bug swept through North Carolina last weekend in Kansas City, where the Tigers knocked off the Tar Heels in the regional semifinal. It’s unclear whether Harper may have gotten the same bug.
Harper is averaging 15.4 points and 5.4 assists.
Charles Barkley isn’t the only big-name fan of Auburn.
Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry surprised the Tigers — and another Under Armour-sponsored school, Texas Tech — with pairs of his new sneakers for their Final Four appearance on Saturday night. Curry recorded videos for both of the teams and wished them well as they compete in the national semifinals.
“It was amazing. He gave us a special shoutout,” Tigers star Bryce Brown said. “He said he was an underdog like us, that this run was like the run he was on with Davidson.”
Before becoming an NBA star, Curry led tiny Davidson to the Elite Eight of the 2008 tournament.
Curry is one of Brown’s favorite players, so getting a shout-out? “That meant a lot,” he said.