When you hire Bruce Pearl, you get more than a basketball coach -- you also get a very savvy marketer. We saw this right off the bat at Tennessee, where Pearl embraced an audacious orange blazer as his game-day outfit.
Now, we're seeing his relentless enthusiasm in full force as he tries to stir interest in the basketball program at Auburn.
Pearl has already earned the good graces of some fans by donating his body to a charity dunk tank last spring.
With the college basketball season on the horizon, Pearl made another splashy appearance, bursting into an Auburn lecture hall and unleashing a pep band and cheerleading squad to get students excited about the season hype event dubbed the "Pearl Jam."
Auburn's basketball program isn't just suffering from the lack of a winning tradition, it's also standing in the long shadow of the school's football team, which is the biggest show in town.
Pearl knows how to win basketball games, but he understands that a truly successful program needs a passionate fan base -- one that will appeal to recruits and create a better home-court advantage.
"Together we’re trying to do great things,” Pearl says to the classroom.
Fair enough, but Pearl's a one-man show on his own.