By Doug Gorman
Former Jonesboro High School basketball player Toney Douglas didn't need the usual adjustment period to get used to playing college basketball.
The Auburn freshman burst on the scene quickly and has already established himself as one of the top scoers in the Southeastern Conference.
Through 12 games, Douglas leads the Tigers in scoring with an 18.9 points per game. He is second in rebounds with a 5.9 average and third in assists with a 1.9 per game.
Douglas has helped Auburn and first-year coach Jeff Lebo start the season with an 8-4 record.
Douglas' most recent accolades came earlier this week when he was named the MVP of San Juan Shootout.
Auburn lost the final game of the round-robin event to Toledo, but the Tigers were still proclaimed the winner after posting a 2-1 record and scoring the most points in their three games at the tournament.
The former Jonesboro standout earned his MVP honors by averaging 18 points and pulling down 4.7 rebounds per game.
But even as a freshman, Douglas is already sounding like one of his team's leaders.
"We played hard, in this game (against Toledo), but there were some key points in the game where we couldn't rebound and that hurt us," Douglas told AuburnTigers.com, the official athletic website of Auburn University athletics.
His performance in the San Juan Shootout is a continuation of how he has played throughout the early part of the season.
Douglas has led the Tigers in scoring in five of the team's 12 games.
At times, Douglas, who is the all-time leading scorer in Clayton County history, has made it look easy. It took the former Southern Crescent Player of the Year just three games to make national headlines when he tossed in 38 points against Nicholas State. Douglas was on fire from the outside in that game, connecting on seven 3-point shots. He came back three games later and scored 33 points against the University of Virginia.
Douglas isn't the only member of his family staying busy with college athletics this year.
Older brother Harry, who teamed with Toney on the Jonesboro basketball team, helping lead the Cardinals to the Class AAA state title game in 2003, is a red-shirt freshman wide receiver on the N o. 7-ranked University of Louisville football team.
Louisville will play No. 10-ranked Boise State in the Liberty Bowl on New Years Eve.
Harry caught five passes in the regular season and also returned four kicks for 74 yards. Douglas plays behind other upperclassman wide receivers, but he is expected to contend for a starting role next season.