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Noah Gardner

Running the Point: What we learned about Auburn basketball

By | Talent Columns | No Comments

In their 79-65 victory over Georgia, Auburn showcased the best and the worst their team has to offer.

 

In the first half, the Tigers shot 25 percent from the field while allowing Georgia to shoot 60 percent. With Georgia carrying a 14-point lead into the half, Auburn found themselves in the familiar position of playing from behind.

 

The second half was a different story. Auburn blitzed Georgia after the break where they opened the half on a 31-4 run. They took an axe to Georgia’s field goal percentage, chopped it in half and added a portion of it to their own. Auburn held Georgia’s shooting to 25 percent and only six made field goals, while converting 58 percent of their own opportunities.

 

Auburn is building the reputation of being a second-half team, but there are more significant things to be learned about them in their performances last week.

 

Alabama exposed Auburn’s weaknesses and proved that the Tigers are indeed mortal. They demonstrated how to defend Auburn by slowing the tempo of the game and forcing them to create and make shots in their half-court offense.

 

Despite averaging 40.4 rebounds per game, Auburn’s lack of size will be a problem when they play more effective frontcourts. Without a player who can consistently be a weapon in the post, Auburn will struggle to produce offensively in stretches where Auburn isn’t shooting the basketball well.

 

Against Georgia, Auburn played at their worst and at their best. They have developed a Jekyll and Hyde personality that could haunt them throughout the season. Auburn’s degree of success will be determined by their ability to overcome their weaknesses and play complete games. Moving forward, Auburn can be a team’s worst nightmare, including their own.