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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Auburn at #4 Kentucky Game Preview and Open Thread

A daunting task and environment awaits Auburn today!

Date: Saturday February 23rd

Opponent: #4 Kentucky Wildcats - 22-4 (11-2)

Location: Rupp Arena - Lexington, Kentucky

Time: 12:30PM

Network: CBS, Auburn Radio Network

Today, Auburn will look to do something they haven’t done in my lifetime and that’s win a game at Rupp Arena. The last Auburn win at Rupp Arena you ask?

January 9, 1988.

To do the math, it’s been 31 years since Auburn has won at Rupp Arena. John Caylor hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to beat #1 Kentucky 53-52. Auburn has lost their last 16 times there since that fateful day.

Despite this writer’s best efforts, I couldn’t find the video of it but I did find a quote from then Auburn coach Sonny Smith calling that game “one of our greatest victories.”

Imagine how great of a victory it would be if Auburn pulled this one out today.

Get to (Re)-Know Kentucky...

The Wildcats have been on a tear throughout the majority of SEC play and that run really kicked into high gear when they came into Auburn on January 19th and won 82-80. That game clearly took something out of Auburn as the Tigers lost their next 2 games as well. While Auburn was missing their big man, Austin Wiley, in the first matchup, Kentucky will be missing one of their key players in this matchup as Reid Travis sprained his knee Tuesday night at Missouri and has already been ruled out for today’s game. Travis scored his SEC best 17 points and had 7 rebounds in the first game against Auburn.

But before you have any pity on the Cats, just remember Auburn still has to deal with P.J. Washington, E.J. Montgomery and Nick Richards in the paint.

Washington (#25) has been a monster in conference play as he’s now leading the team averaging 14.9 points and 8 rebounds a game. He’s been in double figures 11 straight games, scored 15+ in his last 9 and 20+ in 7 of those 11 games. In this 11 game stretch, he’s averaging 19 points a game. One of people’s biggest gripe about Washington in the 2 years he’s been in Lexington was that he hasn’t always been engaged in games. That's not an issue anymore and it’s scary for the rest of the SEC. He’s definitely looking like a potential lottery pick in next year’s NBA Draft. Washington scored 13 points and had 7 rebounds in the first matchup with Auburn.

Keldon Johnson (#3) had his highest scoring output in SEC play with 20 points against the Tigers on January 19th. He’s second on the team averaging 13.8 points a game. He had just 5 points against Missouri Tuesday night but Johnson’s a scorer and Auburn has to do a better job containing him this time around.

The same can be said for Tyler Herro (#14) who averages 13.5 points a game. Herro hit several “quiet the crowd” shots in the first matchup when Auburn was making their comeback from a 17 point deficit. He also scored 20 points in the teams first meeting.

Point guard (#2) Ashton Hagans had 6 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in the first game against Auburn and his best offensive game of February scoring 12 against Missouri Tuesday night. Hagans is also one of Kentucky’s best defenders and the matchup between him and Jared Harper will be a fascinating one to watch.

Finally, more eyes will be on the guys taking Reid Travis minutes, Nick Richards (#4) and EJ Montgomery (#23). Richards had the better performance after Travis injury and each guy averages about 4 points a game but Coach Cal is going to need more out of these two guys today.

What to Look for from Auburn...

If Auburn plays the way they did in the first half on both sides of the floor against Arkansas today, this game could be really good. As I mentioned on Wednesday, Auburn pretty much knows what they’re getting from the Big 3 but need a 4th person to step up and score. Insert Anfernee McLemore. McLemore had one of his better games in weeks scoring 13 points along with 6 rebounds Wednesday. If he could be more consistent for Auburn, that would pay huge dividends.

Malik Dunbar started his 1st game of the season on Wednesday and the Tigers came out with a lot of energy and firepower from 3 allowing Auburn to put away the Razorbacks early. Dunbar scored all of his 8 points early on a pair of 3s and an alley-oop dunk. I think the change was a boost this Tigers team needed and seeing Samir Doughty play well coming off the bench for the first time was a welcome sight as well. It sounds like Bruce will stick with Wednesday’s Starting 5 today but we’ll have to wait and see come game time.

Bryce Brown scored 28 points in the first matchup with Kentucky and he’s going to need to do that or close to that again this afternoon. Brown has a chance to join some exclusive company on Saturday:

Career SEC All-Time 3-Point Shooters

  1. Chris Lofton (Tennessee) 2005-2008: 431
  2. Shan Foster (Vanderbilt) 2005-2008: 367
  3. Pat Bradley (Arkansas) 1996-1999: 366
  4. Allan Houston (Tennessee) 1990-1993: 346
  5. Chris Warren (Ole Miss) 2008-2011: 334
  6. Kenny Boynton (Florida) 2010-2013: 333
  7. Bryce Brown (Auburn) 2016-2019: 331

Bryce is 4 3-pointers away from being in the Top 5 all-time in SEC 3-point shooters. I think he’ll get to at least 4th and depending on how Auburn plays down the stretch, I think he can make a run at 2nd on that list. The Tigers have at least 7 games left so he would have to average a little over 5 a game to make it there.

Chuma Okeke has been playing much better lately for Auburn. The Tigers are gonna need him to make 2-3 3s tomorrow in order to open up the Kentucky defense. Over his last 11 games, Chuma is averaging 13 points and 7.6 rebounds a game. Chuma made 3 3s against Arkansas on Wednesday and the Tigers need that again this afternoon.

My biggest concern for tomorrow despite Travis not being available for Kentucky is rebounding. LSU had 22 offensive rebounds 2 weeks ago and Vanderbilt was +16 on the boards last Saturday. Kentucky is 4th in the country in rebounding margin per game at +9.2 a game. It’s absolutely imperative that Auburn limits Kentucky to as many one-and-dones as possible if they’re going to pull the upset today.

Score Prediction

Here’s the deal. Auburn is the underdog in this game, without a doubt. Nobody (even me) expects the Tigers to win this game. But as we all know about Auburn athletics, isn’t Auburn at their best when everybody doubts them and doesn’t respect them? What we have here today is a phenomenal opportunity. A win at Kentucky would silence any doubts about this team being a NCAA Tournament team (they are even if they lose this game so STOP with the stupid takes). It would also give Auburn a firm Q1 win which they don’t have at the moment. Washington and Florida are both teetering at or around 30 in NET which is why I say Auburn doesn’t have a firm Q1 win. Anyways, Auburn did a much better job rebounding Wednesday night and that will have to continue today if they have a chance. Bryce Brown and/or Jared Harper is going to need to score at least 20 in this one. And while anything is possible today, I said I wasn’t picking Auburn on the road for the rest of the year and I’m sticking to that today.

Kentucky 81 Auburn 72



from College and Magnolia - All Posts https://www.collegeandmagnolia.com/2019/2/23/18236390/auburn-at-4-kentucky-game-preview-and-open-thread

Cloudy today!



With a high of 80F and a low of 59F.
via IFTTT

Friday, February 22, 2019

Freshman Diver Conner Pruitt

Freshman Diver Conner Pruitt



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AUBURN SOFTBALL VS NORTH DAKOTA ST HIGHLIGHTS



from AuburnTigers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ9w2WGC3No

AUBURN SOFTBALL VS VILLANOVA HIGHLIGHTS



from AuburnTigers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwOFDS4jEa4

AUBURN SOFTBALL VS NORTH DAKOTA ST HIGHLIGHTS

AUBURN SOFTBALL VS NORTH DAKOTA ST HIGHLIGHTS



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AUBURN SOFTBALL VS VILLANOVA HIGHLIGHTS

AUBURN SOFTBALL VS VILLANOVA HIGHLIGHTS



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Auburn Thoughts for a Rainy Day.

Tigers ran wild over Arkansas.
(John Reed/USA Today Sports.)

     War Eagle, everybody! A long wet football offseason continues here in the Deep South. This week, we received a nice spark from the Auburn basketball program, as the men rode a hot start out to a 30 point lead at home against Arkansas, and flattened the Hogs, 79-56. That Wednesday evening win came on the heels of a Sunday afternoon demolition of Alabama by the women of Auburn. The ladies put a 77-38 whipping on the Crimson Tide, and pushed their season record to 19-7.

     Auburn had a great evening against Arkansas, but the challenge level goes way up, this Saturday. At 12:30 PM Central Time, Auburn takes on Kentucky in Lexington. The game will be nationally televised on CBS. One has to go back over 30 years, to find a time where Auburn basketball won in that arena. It was in January of 1988, when Auburn knocked off #1-ranked Kentucky in Rupp Arena, 53-52. Auburn also won at Rupp, in 1983. Those are the only 2 wins over Kentucky at their place, in my lifetime.

     Kentucky has appeared to have some vulnerabilities earlier in the year, getting blown out by Duke, and losing to Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and to LSU at home. After the LSU loss, the Wildcats rebounded in dramatic fashion, clubbing #1-ranked Tennessee 86-69. A streaky Auburn bunch will try to keep a hot-shooting streak alive. The frustrating thing about this season is that Auburn has tended to be on fire against non-ranked teams, and against the ranked teams, long stretches go by where Auburn can’t seem to buy a basket.

     On Sunday the Auburn women host a pretty tough Missouri team on Senior Day. A win by Auburn would push the win total to 20, and pretty much guarantee a spot in the NCAA tournament in March.

     I continue to hear talk that the Auburn football team will be just fine at quarterback next season, but I think caution is the word in this spot. Auburn does not return any quarterback this year, that has played in a college game that was still in doubt. Not having an established starter is a big deal. In the past 40 seasons, having an established starter resulted in a record of 264 wins, 89 losses and 5 ties. That’s a winning percentage of 74.4 percent. In years where multiple quarterbacks got 2 or more starts, Auburn has just 68 wins and 65 losses, or 51.1 percent.

     Conventional wisdom is that Auburn will have to rely on the running game a good bit, early next season. Auburn returns all 5 offensive line starters, and every player that carried the ball 19 or more times. It’s an interesting group, featuring senior Kam Martin, and sophomore JaTarvious Whitlow. Add in Malik Miller, Shaun Shivers and Anthony Schwarts, and a team has a deep group of runners. My question is this: who’s going to lead block for them? Auburn is very unproven at the tight end and H-back spots. To run the ball, one either has to block defenders, or spread them out and be willing to throw to multiple receivers. It remains to be seen whether either option can happen, next season.

The post Auburn Thoughts for a Rainy Day. appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



from Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog http://trackemtigers.com/auburn-thoughts-for-a-rainy-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=auburn-thoughts-for-a-rainy-day

Sports Update 2.20

Sports Update 2.20



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BRACKETOLOGY: Volume III

Auburn Feud Episode 4

Auburn Feud Episode 4
2019's season of Auburn Feud, Episode 4. Featuring UPC Tiger Night Committee v. AU Marketing Association.


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Crow To Harper Challenge: Week 7

There was a story about Lebron a few years ago, I don’t remember where I read it, where he was asked about his his number one qualification for a teammate. He basically said “just hit open shots.” Lebron has an offensive gravity, he draws defenders to cheat off of their man and can create open looks for people just by having the ball. Part of “making your teammates better” is “making your teammates wide open.”

What we saw against Arkansas was Auburn players hitting open shots. Basketball looks so much better when guys hit the open ones. Anfernee Mclemore, a guy whose season has been as yo-yo in quality as the Auburn team itself, has developed a knack for being wide open from three. Against Arkansas, he hit his open looks. Jared Harper, Bryce Brown, and especially Chuma Okeke require defensive game-planning. They require constant attention. Coaches yell at players to cover those guys when they have the slightest amount of space. Anfernee Mclemore is not one of those guys, but if he can make his open shots then he will murder opposing teams. You can’t account for five three point shooters very effectively with most college basketball lineups.

Against Vanderbilt (in the worst basketball gym in the known universe) Auburn shot poorly. Auburn hovers around 48% shooting in its wins this season, and was at 36% against Ole Miss and Vandy. Defense bailed the Tigers out against the ‘Dores, but nothing could bail the Hogs out. Auburn shot 52% from three against Arkansas, which basically means the Tigers should have taken less twos than they did. If you are making more than five out of every ten three pointers, shoot until your arms fall off. When Auburn has its role players hitting open shots, it is unbeatable.

Life is like that too. Every time a person gets to be 100 years old or so, some reporter will ask that person what the “secret” is to a long life. We all want to live longer. We all want to live better lives and be more successful and better looking and better equipped to deal with stress. We want a pill, chart, rule, or system that will get us there. Sometimes people will cheat the system, breaking the law or getting a “shortcut” to the finish line they want. Friends, I am here to tell you none of that stuff will work. There is no pill, chart, rule, or system. There is no magic set of words that will give you happiness, success, or a flat stomach.

You just gotta make open shots.

Doing the things available to you in the moment seems to be the key to both basketball and life. Getting the rebounds that fall to you, not trying to do the things that are outside of your skillset, and keeping your eyes open for opportunities. We aren’t all Lebron, heck, we aren’t all Jared Harper, but if we can be a bit more like Anfernee Mclemore and just hit the open ones, good things will happen.

That said,

Weight Update

No change. 212.

I need to take more shots.

You guys comment below a workout for this week, and I’ll try to do it, weather permitting. I might lose weight if I need to build an ark here soon.



from College and Magnolia - All Posts https://www.collegeandmagnolia.com/2019/2/22/18236263/crow-to-harper-challenge-week-7

Auburn University releases new strategic plan

Auburn University releases new strategic plan



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Auburn student recounts Friday night shooting

Auburn student recounts Friday night shooting



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Man shouts racist language at Mama Mocha's Tuesday night

Man shouts racist language at Mama Mocha's Tuesday night



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