Charles Barkley played basketball at Auburn and is now one of the university’s biggest supporters, especially when it comes to the men’s basketball team.

Barkley appreciates what coach Bruce Pearl has done for the Tigers, including a Final Four appearance in 2019 (the school’s first ever) and winning the SEC regular-season title this past year.

On Wednesday, Barkley shared a message with Pearl about how much expectations have risen around the program and why that signals that Pearl is doing such a good job (via 247Sports):

“It was an interesting year for Auburn because it ended on a down note,” Barkley said Wednesday before the 2022 Regions Tradition celebrity golf event in Hoover. “I love Bruce Pearl. To tell you how far Auburn basketball has come: I never thought we would get to the point where we win an NCAA game, and people would be disappointed. That’s a credit to him.

“I told him privately — and I’ll tell him publicly, too: ‘Think about that.’ … That’s a credit to Coach Pearl and his staff — the notion that Auburn actually won a March Madness game, and then they lost, and we were disappointed.”

Can Pearl continue to take the Tigers to new heights? We’ll see how Auburn fares when the 2022-23 season tips off this fall.