Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sunny today!

With a high of 58F and a low of 36F.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Former Pinson Valley, current Auburn University quarterback Bo Nix wins 2018 Mr. Football

The accolades and recognition of Bo Nix’s high school career at Pinson Valley continue to roll in.

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SEC Power Rankings - Volume IV

Where we stand in the SEC and a look ahead to this week’s games.

Now that teams have played 2-3 SEC games, it’s time to take a look at where the SEC teams stand so far. We’ve had some surprising starts with both Ole Miss and South Carolina at 3-0 in the league and not so surprising starts, Tennessee, with the same SEC record. Here’s where I have everyone as of now:

Team of the Week: Ole Miss Rebels

Clearly, Ole Miss had the best week out of everyone in the SEC. They beat not one, but 2 Top 15 opponents and now rightfully sit in the Top 25 of the polls. They jump from 10 all the way up to 2 in my list this week. If the Rebels continue to play the way they have so far, this team has many characteristics last year’s Auburn team did.

1. #3 Tennessee: 14-1 (3-0)

Last Ranking: 1

Last Week: Beat Missouri 87-63, Beat Florida 78-67

This Week: Tonight vs. Arkansas, Saturday vs. Alabama

The Vols remain the class of the SEC at the moment. The Vols had a slow start in Columbia, Missouri pulling away late in the first half and coasting to a blowout win in Columbia. On Saturday, they fending off a game Gators team in Gainesville thanks to clutch offensive rebounding late in the game. While Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield struggled against Mizzou, it was Kyle Alexander stepping up scoring 14 points, and had 17 rebounds. Off the bench, Jordan Bowden scored 20 against Mizzou and 17, including 12 straight over a 2 minute stretch, against Florida But this is what most folks are talking about right now instead of the team.

Honestly, if you’re a fanbase that’s going to call guys on opposing teams “inhumane” names and then have a problem with what Tennessee did here, then bottom line, don’t call them inhumane names. I see nothing wrong with what Tennessee did here.

2. #18 Ole Miss: 13-2 (3-0)

Last Ranking: 10

Last Week: Beat #11 Auburn 82-67, Beat #14 Mississippi State 81-77

This Week: Tonight vs. Arkansas, Saturday vs. Alabama

Welp. So much for my 10th place prediction for these guys. As impressive as their win over Auburn was, it was more impressive to see them back it up going to Starkville and knocking off the Bulldogs. Freshmen Blake Hinson scored a career high 26 points on Saturday and Terence Davis was SEC Player of the Week on the heels of a 27 point, 12 rebound performance against Auburn. The Rebels have gone from last place prediction to Top 25 ranking in a remarkably short amount of time. Kermit Davis is definitely a candidate for Coach of the Year at this point.

3. #14 Auburn: 12-3 (1-1)

Last Ranking: 2

Last Week: Lost to Ole Miss 82-67, Beat Georgia 93-78

This Week: Wednesday at Texas A&M, Saturday vs. #12 Kentucky

A nice bounce back game at home against Georgia puts the Tigers at 1-1 in the league. The biggest question now is can Auburn go on the road and play up to their capabilities? Auburn really needs to take care of business Wednesday before coming home for one of the biggest home games of the year Saturday against Kentucky.

4. #12 Kentucky: 12-3 (2-1)

Last Ranking: 3

Last Week: Beat Texas A&M 85-74, Beat Vanderbilt 56-47

This Week: Tonight at Georgia, Saturday at #14 Auburn

The Wildcats didn’t look super impressive this week against 2 of the bottom teams in the league at home. We'll see what they do on the road this week. If you’re an Auburn fan, you have to hope they take care of business in Athens tonight but I have a gut feeling that Coach Cal will have his guys ready to play one of their best games of the year Saturday in Auburn.

5. LSU: 12-3 (2-0)

Last Ranking: 5

Last Week: Beat Alabama 88-79, Beat Arkansas 94-88 (OT)

This Week: Tonight at #18 Ole Miss, Saturday vs. South Carolina

There’s a couple intriguing games tonight but this one is the most intriguing to me. How will Tremont Waters and LSU fare against the backcourt of Ole Miss? Can Naz Reid do damage against the frontcourt Auburn struggled against? We’ll see what the Bayou Bengals are made of this week.

6. #24 Mississippi State: 12-3 (0-2)

Last Ranking: 4

Last Week: Lost to South Carolina 87-82 (OT), Lost to Ole Miss 81-77

This Week: Tonight vs. Florida, Saturday at Vanderbilt

Rough week for the Bulldogs to say the least. The OT loss to South Carolina was bad but just shows that anyone is capable of beating anyone in this league on any given night. They had the tough luck of then running into a hot Ole Miss team. I think the Bulldogs will be fine but they really need a win tonight to make me feel confident in that.

7. South Carolina: 8-7 (3-0)

Last Ranking: 14

Last Week: Beat #14 Mississippi State 87-82 (OT), Beat Missouri 85-75

This Week: Wednesday at Vanderbilt, Saturday at LSU

Of course we all expected the Gamecocks to be 3-0 to start SEC play, right? Right? Frank Martin’s got his guys playing well and we’ll see if that continues with a pair of road games this week.

8. Alabama: 10-5 (1-2)

Last Ranking: 7

Last Week: Lost to LSU 88-79, Lost to Texas A&M 81-80

This Week: Wednesday at Missouri, Saturday at #3 Tennessee

Yes, Alabama lost both games this week BUT they rank above the Gators based on their SEC win is over Kentucky while Florida’s is against Arkansas. And if not for a buzzer beater from T.J. Starks, they’re sitting at 2-1 right now in the league. That’s the second game this year Alabama has lost at home on a buzzer beater. They really need the win at Missouri before a daunting task in Knoxville on Saturday.

9. Florida: 9-6 (1-2)

Last Ranking: 6

Last Week: Beat Arkansas 57-51, Lost to #3 Tennessee 78-67

This Week: Tonight at #24 Mississippi State, Saturday at Georgia

One of the most baffling things from the Tennessee game for Florida was why KeVaughn Allen, who scored a team high 18 points Saturday, was on the bench down the stretch for Florida when they had a golden opportunity to knock off Tennessee. Why that is unclear, what is clear is that the Gators need to get it together if they want to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.

10. Georgia: 9-6 (1-2)

Last Ranking: 12

Last Week: Beat Vanderbilt 82-63, Lost to #11 Auburn 93-78

This Week: Tonight vs. #12 Kentucky, Saturday vs. Florida

Tom Crean has made this Georgia team better and it will be interesting to see how they look when Auburn goes to Athens at the end of February. Georgia hosts 2 of their traditional rivals at home this week.

11. Arkansas: 10-5 (1-2)

Last Ranking: 10

Last Week: Lost to Florida 57-51, Lost to LSU 94-88 (OT)

This Week: Tonight at #3 Tennessee, Saturday at #18 Ole Miss

Coming off two tough losses at home and seeing their schedule for this week, there’s really only two words I can say to Arkansas: Good luck.

12. Texas A&M: 7-7 (1-2)

Last Ranking: 13

Last Week: Lost to #18 Kentucky 85-74, Beat Alabama 81-80

This Week: Wednesday vs. #14 Auburn, Saturday vs. Missouri

After splitting a pair of road games last week, the Aggies get 5 of their next 6 games in College Station. That starts with a tilt against Auburn tomorrow evening. Auburn better be ready to play as the Aggies come in on a high of winning in Tuscaloosa on a buzzer beating 3-pointer.

13. Missouri: 9-5 (0-2)

Last Ranking: 11

Last Week: Lost to #3 Tennessee 87-63, Lost to South Carolina 85-75

This Week: Wednesday vs. Alabama, Saturday at Texas A&M

Missouri played Tennessee tough for about 15 minutes before the Vols established their will and took the game over. Then the Tigers became the 3rd victim of South Carolina’s surprise SEC run in a game played 24 hours later than scheduled due to a winter storm. Their game against Alabama looks like a must win for Mizzou.

14. Vanderbilt: 9-6 (0-3)

Last Ranking: 8

Last Week: Lost to Georgia 82-63, Lost to #18 Kentucky 56-47

This Week: Wednesday vs. South Carolina, Saturday vs. #24 Mississippi State

Vandy’s back in a spot they sat in for the majority of last season. Losing by 19 to a team coming off a 46 point loss is not a good look. We’ll see if Vandy is able to bounce back with a pair of home games this week.

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Auburn Football Recruiting: Two Top Targets Name Auburn Leader

It was good weekend on the Plains as two official visitors left with the Tigers on top.

National Signing Day is quickly approaching and Auburn has plenty of spots still left to fill. This past weekend went a long way towards hopefully filling a few of those positions with some big time players.

Tigers Lead For Two Top Targets

Both 3* OG Kamaar Bell and 3* LB Octavius Brothers left the Plains last weekend with a clear #1 team in the Auburn Tigers.

Both are incredibly important targets for the Tigers. Auburn signed only two offensive lineman in December after only signing two offensive lineman in the 2018 class (though they did snag junior transfer Jack Driscoll). The Tigers also only signed one linebacker in the early period and are hoping for two more in this class. Both Bell and Brothers are at or near the top of the want list for both of those positions.

Now Auburn will have to hope no one else can top last weekend’s visits. Bell will be in Louisville this weekend before traveling to Tallahassee, FL at the end of January. That FSU visit is the one that looms large in my opinion. The Noles can sell immediate playing time and that will play a huge role in Bell’s final decision.

As for Brothers, he is no longer expected to visit Ole Miss this weekend but instead travel to Atlanta and spend the weekend with the Yellow Jackets. Miami will then host him late in January and they are probably Auburn’s biggest threat at the moment. As of today though I think both end up Tigers.

Auburn Making Push For Robinson

It’s pretty clear Auburn would like to sign one more defensive back in the 2019 class. Back in December, Auburn hosted LSU commit 4* CB Maurice Hampton who is still mulling over his final decision. The Tigers sent the whole coaching staff sans Gus Malzahn to Hampton’s home over the weekend to let the young man know how badly Auburn wants him on the Plains.

But Hampton isn’t the only DB target at the moment. 3* ATH Jammie Robinson is one of the most exciting players in this class. He played at Crisp County the last two seasons with SEC signees Big Kat Bryant and Quay Walker before transferring to Lee County in Leesburg, GA. People would go to see those two play and leave talking just as much about Robinson. He can play all over the field though most schools have him pegged as a defensive back, specifically at the nickel position. Heading into this past weekend, this race was thought to mainly be a Kentucky vs South Carolina contest. Not anymore.

Robinson brought his mom on campus for the first time and it appears the visit was a hit with her. Even more important, Kevin Steele took some time to break down how the Tigers plan to use Robinson’s unique skillset if he were to don the orange and blue next season. This will be a fight to the finish line and he still has one more official visit left with a trip to Knoxville this upcoming weekend. I think the Tigers have turned the heat up in this race and are very much a threat to land the talented athlete. But it could be hard to beat longtime favorite South Carolina. You also wonder if Auburn could take both Robinson and Hampton if they wanted on board. I imagine that’s a problem the Tigers would like to have come signing day.

Griffin In Play?

One of the most interesting official visitors this past weekend in my opinion was NC State commit 4* RB Jamious Griffin. Auburn won a wild race for 3* DJ Williams in December and are considered the favorites for 4* Mark-Antony Richards. But Griffin landed an offer in December as well and has quickly become a name to watch in recent weeks for the Tigers. Might Auburn be making a strong late push for the talented back out of Georgia?


Griffin left the Plains saying that Auburn “stands up there with N.C. State” and that a final decision wouldn’t come until around Signing Day. He also stated that the news about Tim Horton no longer coaching running backs would not factor into his final decision. He’s expected to officially visit Georgia Tech (notice how their name is popping up more?) next weekend and Miami the last weekend in January.

I’m a big fan of Griffin but I’m not sure yet if Auburn would be willing to take both he and Richards if they wanted on board considering they signed Williams just a few weeks ago. I also think the Rambling Wreck are a team to watch in this race considering his older brother signed with them last year. The Wolfpack will fight hard to keep the Georgia native in the fold but this race is going to come down to the very end. My super early prediction is that he lands in the ACC with either NC State or Georgia Tech but he’s absolutely a name to track over these final weeks.

Interesting Monday Visitor

It seems like every single transfer QB has been linked to Auburn so far. The Tigers tried to land Kelly Bryant last month but lost him to Missouri. I’ve seen Auburn’s name mentioned as a school of possible interest for former Ohio State QB Tate Martell though there’s been little actual intel on Auburn’s real interest. There continues to be buzz that the Tigers might be in play for Jalen Hurts as well but yesterday a new name went from speculation to possibly a legitimate transfer target.

Austin Kendall was once the nation’s #9 ranked pro style quarterback in the 2016 class and someone the Tigers pursued hard that cycle. He landed with the Sooners and was thought to be the next man in line in Norman, OK. But surprisingly his name appeared in the transfer portal last week. Very quickly, Auburn’s new QB coach Kenny Dillingham and head coach Gus Malzahn were following Kendall on Twitter. But yesterday’s visit is real concrete evidence that the Tigers are pursuing the talented signal caller.

So what does this mean? Well it could mean Gus Malzahn is simply doing his due diligence. Auburn really liked Kendall when he came out of high school and there’s a relationship already there. But it could also mean that in a do or die year for Malzahn, he has no interest in turning this offense over to anyone on the roster or a true freshman QB.

Gus has never been shy about pursuing transfer QBs. The success he’s had with them makes it understandable. But this move would be more surprising to me than the pursuit of Kelly Bryant or Jalen Hurts. Kendall will be a redshirt junior next year meaning he will have two more years to play. That’s more than a stopgap solution. It would virtually eliminate any dream of Malik Willis being the guy and would mean Joey Gatewood and Cord Sandberg are redshirt juniors on the roster when Kendall leaves.

I don’t actually know how real or not real this recruitment might be but it’s definitely something to follow in the coming weeks. Kendall doesn’t appear to me to be the same type of sure thing Jarrett Stidham was a few years ago and does not bring any threat of mobility like Bryant or Hurts. But Gus can’t really afford to take any lumps next year with a young QB. If you don’t trust Willis to be the guy and aren’t ready for Gatewood/Sandberg/Nix to take over then maybe Kendall can be the answer. Fascinated to watch this recruitment unfold.

Charles Moore Has New Leader

Last week, one of Auburn’s top targets in 4* DL Charles Moore reopened his recruitment. He quickly tabbed the Tigers as his leader and it was hard not to get excited about the possibility of adding the talented defensive lineman in February. But it appears things might have changed following his official visit to Gainesville.

Dan Mullen was the head coach in Starkville when Moore originally committed to Mississippi State so this isn’t a complete shock. He already has a good relationship with that staff and the Gators undoubtedly rolled out the red carpet this past weekend. But I also don’t think it’s time to panic. Moore appears to be a kid prone to visit highs and I would not be surprised to see Tennessee become his top team after that official visit. In the end, Auburn has built some really strong relationships in this recruitment and I still think the Tigers are the team to beat. I would not be surprised at all if he took an unofficial visit to campus too before making his final decision. Either way, this is gonna be a hotly contested recruitment until signing day.

Offensive Line Thoughts

Finally, I wanted to touch on the subject that I know most Auburn fans are concerned about this cycle - offensive line recruiting. The Bell news was big this past weekend and I do think the Tigers are gonna be tough to beat in that recruitment. But even with Bell, Auburn needs at least one more offensive lineman in this class and he should probably be an offensive tackle prospect. The two names that have been most mentioned are JUCO prospect 4* Bamidele Olaseni and 3* Dawand Jones. Olaseni has already officially visited the Plains but still has more visits to go while the Tigers are fighting to get Jones on campus. I don’t feel great about Auburn landing either one at the moment.

More surprising has been the fact that Auburn hasn’t sent out any new offers on the offensive line in recent days. They might have and they just haven’t gone public but I’m gonna speculate they haven’t for another reason. With the adoption of the brand new Transfer Portal, recruiting has expanded even further from just high school/junior college prospects and graduate transfers to any player that wants out of their current situation. Given the limited talent pool now available due to the early signing period, I wouldn’t be shocked if Auburn is evaluating some transfer options that might have to sit out next season but would have at least two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2020.

The Tigers don’t have a clear successor at left tackle on the roster right now. I think Austin Troxell is going to be a very good right tackle for the Tigers next season but besides him, I’m not sure Auburn has ANY SEC calibre OTs available. There are a lot of questions around whether Calvin Ashley will even be with the team next season and even if he is I’m not sure if he will be ready to go in 2020. I would not be surprised if Prince Michael Sammons transfers at some point and I would be stunned if 2019 signee Justin Osborne is ready to start as a redshirt freshman. That’s a pretty bleak picture looking ahead...

So don’t be shocked if instead of landing a 3* backup plan, Auburn instead attempts to add a transfer from a Power 5 program with the hope that he will be ready to start in 2020. Who that might be, I have no idea but I at least wanted to throw out the possibility that Auburn could be looking at non high school and graduate transfer targets. This will continue to be one of the most important spots to fill in the 2020 class.

War Eagle!

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Basketball Q&A: Texas A&M Aggies

Partly Cloudy today!

With a high of 52F and a low of 31F.

Monday, January 14, 2019


The Tigers lose a little ground ahead of a big week.

Hear ye, hear ye, we have another Monday edition of new college basketball rankings.

Auburn, which was at #11, dropped a couple spots to #14 after a 1-1 week. The Tigers fell to Ole Miss last week 82-67 before beating Georgia 93-78 on Saturday in the home opener.

Here’s everything going on above Auburn in the AP Poll:

  1. Duke
  2. Michigan
  3. Tennessee
  4. Virginia
  5. Gonzaga
  6. Michigan State
  7. Kansas
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Virginia Tech
  10. Nevada
  11. Florida State
  12. Kentucky
  13. North Carolina

Other notable teams in the rankings include NC State at #17, Ole Miss at #18, and Mississippi State at #24. South Carolina and Florida are receiving votes as well. So far, Auburn’s three losses have come away from home against the #1, #17, and #18 teams in the country, who have a combined five losses between them, and are #1 (Duke), #26 (NC State), and #30 (Ole Miss) in the KenPom rankings. There aren’t any bad losses there.

This week, the Tigers get a chance to get right on the road at Texas A&M, The Aggies aren’t very good, despite the fact that they beat Alabama on a buzzer beater over the weekend. A&M’s 7-7 record has them at #87 in KenPom, several spots behind Xavier, who Auburn’s already beaten. That game precedes a home tilt with Kentucky on Saturday, where two top fifteen teams will clash at Auburn Arena. The Wildcats had a weird game with Vanderbilt over the weekend, winning 56-47, and they’ll have to play Georgia in Athens tomorrow ahead of the Saturday matchup.

Here’s what else is coming this week in the Top 25:

1/14/19 - Syracuse @ #1 Duke, #11 Florida State @ Pittsburgh, Texas @ #7 Kansas

  • Let’s see if the emotional letdowns affect Duke and FSU in different ways, and if the Longhorns can take advantage of a thin Jayhawk team in Lawrence.

1/15/19 - #12 Kentucky @ Georgia, Florida @ #24 Mississippi State, #9 Virginia Tech @ #4 Virginia, LSU @ #18 Ole Miss

  • Obviously, this is a big night to see how several other SEC teams are looking against stiff competition in the conference, and a pretty big ACC matchup as well.

1/16/19 - Iowa State @ #8 Texas Tech

  • It’s a good chance to see a tough game for a team in front of Auburn in the polls.

All in all, Auburn’s got to take advantage of this week. They’ve got to find a way to beat Texas A&M on the road before the game against Kentucky this weekend. Huge, huge week for Bruce Pearl and company. War Eagle!

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Monday Musings: Taming Dogs Edition

If you’re an Auburn fan few things feel better than a dominating win over your oldest rival. The men’s basketball team did that Saturday in a 93-78 victory over Georgia.

It was evident that Bruce Pearl had worked his Tigers on the inside game after Auburn struggled in the paint in a road loss at OIe Miss. And it resulted in a hammering of Georgia. The Tigers only scored 12 in Oxford but put up scored 40 points in the paint Saturday.

The feel good story of the day belonged to Anfernee McLemore. The senior made a spectacular return from a season ending injury to block shots, grab nine rebounds, and score 15 points – In all in the paint.

More coaching changes on The Auburn football staff.

After Chip Lindsey left for Kansas (and later Troy), Gus Malzahn announced over the weekend that running backs and special teams coach Tim Horton would be reassigned to an off field position. Lindsey had said he was ready to make a change but there’s no news as to why this switch is being made.

Every coach has the right to make staff adjustments. But this move is a head scratcher. Horton is a popular coach among the players and on the recruiting trail. He has 10 different 1,000-yard rushers and nine All-SEC running backs including Heisman finalist Trey Mason and Arkansas’Darren McFadden. And he is the only coach in SEC history to have both a running back and special-teams player make All-SEC.

Now that Malzahn will be his own offensive coordinator he may have plans for Horton to help with administrative off the field issues since he lost Patrick Suddes to Georgia Tech last week. Suddes headed up Auburn’s recruiting, an administrative area that Horton has had experience.

Speaking of off-the-field changes, Gus announced he was adding former Auburn All-American and first round draft choice, Kendall Simmons to his staff. The hire has potential to pay big dividends for the program. The two time Super Bowl offensive guard will have a positive influence on the Tigers’ O-Line.

You’ve got to be happy for former Auburn linebacker Dee Ford.

In Kansas City’s NFL playoff win over Indianapolis Sunday, he had two quarterback hits, forced a fumble, and made four tackles including sacking the quarterback on the first play of the game.

And now another Auburn linebacker is getting set to make a big impact on the NFL. Yesterday Deshaun Davis was accepted to the NFL combine.

Auburn recruiting class currently ranks 12th nationally.

As we get closer to National Signing Day recruiting is getting more attention. After five Top-10 recruiting classes in the last six years, Auburn is poised to bring in another stellar bunch.  

It would be nice to see Auburn bring in a running back or two and shore up the offensive line. The early signing period didn’t leave many O-Line prospects available, but three-star Kamaar Bell of Colquitt County, Ga. Who is considering Auburn along with Florida State says Auburn is in the lead.  

Saturday the Tigers hosted five players including Bell and Jamious Griffin, the nation’s No.21 RB prospect. He’s currently committed to NC State but sources say the Tigers made an impact on the four-star running back. Can he be flipped? That’s one of the questions we’ll be waiting for an answer on February 6th.

The post Monday Musings: Taming Dogs Edition appeared first on Why Do We Always Come Back to This? .

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Deep Cuts: Hardwood Edition

By popular demand, I attempt to present some of Auburn’s best plays from the Tigers win over Georgia on Saturday.

At the beginning of 2019, we here at College and Magnolia asked for feedback from our readers on what we can do to make our site better. One of the most popular requests was for us to do a Deep Cuts series for basketball like we have for football. Ask and you shall receive.

Disclaimer: I’m going to be brutally honest with everyone as we begin: I am not a Xs and Os guy, as I much prefer looking at stats. What I hope to do with this is highlight some of the best/most significant plays from the game. That said, I’m looking forward to giving this a shot and hope that ya’ll will enjoy it!

So today we will start with a guy who I couldn’t be more happier to see play well and that’s Anfernee McLemore.

Yesterday, McLemore was back to his sophomore season self, scoring 15 points (11 in the 1st half) and had 9 rebounds against his home-state school. He was definitely much more active, confident and to quote him “bouncier.” With Austin Wiley and Chuma Okeke in foul trouble early, McLemore and Horace Spencer stepped up and helped turn the game around in Auburn’s favor in the 1st half.

Here we see Samir Doughty take the ball into the paint (rather than settle for a 3), and while he missed the shot, there’s some great hustle from Horace to keep the ball alive here. Once Horace went up for the shot, Anfernee comes flying in to crash the offensive glass for the put-back dunk.

This was one of 15 2-point field goals in the 1st half coming off a game where Auburn made just 8 of those the entire game. I love seeing plays like this from McLemore and if this becomes more of what we will see from him going forward, it gives the Tigers another dimension.

Next, we jump ahead to the beginning of the second half. Austin Wiley spent most of the 1st half on the bench with foul trouble but came back strong on this play to set the tone for the 2nd half.

To be honest, this possession looked like one initially we saw a lot of against Ole Miss. The ball never got inside the 3-point arc and Brown was unable to get this 3-ball to drop (this was Bryce’s only miss from 3-point range Saturday). Nevertheless, Wiley is able to get the rebound, absorb the contact from Nicolas Claxton, and get the hoop and harm. He didn’t make the free throw on the and-one opportunity following this play but was 6-8 yesterday in that department.

Okay, the other two plays we’re going to highlight are ones for the highlight reels. This first one sent the Jungle and Auburn Arena into delirium..... enjoy.

This play really felt like game over for Georgia. The Bulldogs had a chance to cut the deficit to 8-9 with 4 minutes only for both Jared Harper and Samir Doughty to hustle down the court to stop the fast break and then you know the rest....

The best part of Malik Dunbar’s dunks are the anticipation of knowing what he’s about to do and the ferocity of how he throws these dunks down. I did an article of the best dunks from this season so far and this one may be my new favorite dunk from Malik this year, given the magnitude and situation of the game.

And finally, to put icing on the cake Saturday, hello Chuma Okeke! One of the biggest knocks on Chuma’s game this year has been the lack of aggressiveness on the offensive end. He took the very first play of this game and took the ball to the basket. He didn’t score, but that was a welcome sight. And while he and Wiley both dealt with foul trouble Saturday, and Chuma only scored 4 points, he made sure that 2 of those 4 points were memorable.


What THAT was is the Chuma Okeke we all know is capable of doing things like this on a nightly basis. Here we have 3 defenders collapse on Jared Harper and he passes it up to the open man. Chuma had a wide open 3 but thought better of it, got by Claxton and provided quite the highlight reel. Rayshaun Hammonds knew what was about to happen and he wanted no part of it.

Hopefully plays like these will build confidence for the team as Auburn takes the show back on the road Wednesday evening against Texas A&M. My hope is that Auburn will play with as much energy and passion that they did in Auburn Arena on Saturday. War Eagle!

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Cloudy today!

With a high of 50F and a low of 32F.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

About Last Night: Auburn 93, Georgia 78

Big home win to get things back on track.

Auburn beat Georgia, covered, got the lid off the SEC win column, and got back on track after the loss to Ole Miss during the midweek. It was a good way to right the ship and get some familiar faces back in the groove.

Couple of things — first up, the shooting just works at home. My goodness, Auburn can hit some field goals in that place. Yesterday was 50% on the dot, with 12-25 three-pointers falling, and hey (!), Auburn even hit 76% from the foul line.

This comes after the tepid night in Oxford, where the Tigers couldn’t even hit from close range, and only stayed somewhat close due to the massive volume of shots from the perimeter. Against Georgia, you could see the concerted effort from Bruce Pearl to install some differences.... mainly, the interior game. Austin Wiley had some trouble against the Rebels, and early on he was proving to be a little tepid as well. So, let’s bring in a guy that needed a chance to turn into the MVP that we saw last year.

It was Anfernee McLemore’s night to shine. For the first time this year, his play mirrored that of last year pre-broken leg. He had 11 points in the first half and a stretch during which he dominated the game on both ends of the floor.

In the end, we saw a bunch of what we saw last year — great perimeter shooting, interior play that hinged on getting rebounds and making highlight dunks, and the tenacity at home to take a lesser team and run them out of the building. It took a little while, but Auburn built a double-digit lead at halftime and never looked back after a short run by the Bulldogs early after halftime. Once it got out of hand, we saw a team playing for fun.

And it’s always nice at the end of the day to see a win lead into something that’ll mean a lot for someone who works hard. In this case, it was two someones.

After all of that, Auburn’s 1-1 in the SEC, and there are a couple of opportunities in the coming week to find a really good handle on the league. The Tigers head to Texas A&M on Wednesday at 6 pm CST, and the Aggies aren’t very good. They did just beat Bama on a buzzer beater, which was hilarious, but they’re just 7-7 overall, and the Tigers can win that game on the road. After that, it’s Kentucky at home on Saturday. The Wildcats just aren’t the team that began the season ranked 2nd. They beat Vanderbilt 56-47 yesterday, and just aren’t very good. Maybe I’ll eat my words, but the Tigers can run that Wildcat team out of the gym at home, and I think they just may. With Anfernee McLemore getting back into shape, and the rest of the team doing what they’re supposed to do, this Auburn squad just may have gotten its groove back.

War Eagle!

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Auburn Basketball (M): "Let's Show"

Auburn Basketball (M): "Let's Show"

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Auburn Basketball (M): "Let's Show"

from AuburnTigers

Cloudy today!

With a high of 55F and a low of 39F.