The Auburn High Boys and Girls basketball teams are just a win away in regional championshp in Montgomery. The Auburn High girls will battle Robert E. Lee High School at 3:00, then the boys will take on area foe Central at 4:45. Scott Bagwell and Noah Gardner will have live coverage from Dunn–Oliver Acadome in Montgomery for both games on ESPN 106.7 beginning at 3:00. Both games will also be streaming online at espnau.com and on the ESPN 106.7 app.
After over seven months of waiting, college baseball is finally back! First pitch on Opening Day at Plainsman Park is set for 5:00 against Longwood and Auburn has a lot of positives to take from last year when they were one win away from going to a super regional for the first time since 1999. This team is clearly on an upward trend under Head Coach Butch Thompson, who is entering his third season as the Tigers skipper.
One bright spot from last year was the current Tigers ace, Junior Casey Mize. After a less than stellar freshman season, Mize burst on to the scene posting an 8-2 record with a 2.04 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) for the Tigers in 2017. After the season Mize was awarded second team All-American Honors by Rawlings and his 109 strikeouts was good enough for third in the SEC and the most from an Auburn pitcher since Brent Schoening and Chris Bootcheck in 1999. The Tigers right hander has a strong fastball that tops out at 96 mph, a nice upper-80’s splitter, and occasionally breaks out a low 80’s curveball.
Mize will be asked to lead a staff that will also consist of sophomore Davis Daniel and true freshman Tanner Burns. Davis Daniel finished his freshman season in 2017 with a 4-3 record and a tough 5.89 ERA in 17 games (16 starts). Daniel shows a lot of potential with a mid to high 90’s fastball, but needs to continue to develop the rest of his arsenal to pitch off his fastball. With his freshman season under his belt, 2018 could potentially be Daniel’s breakout year. After Daniel in the rotation is true freshman Tanner Burns from Decatur High School in Decatur, Alabama. In high school, Burns showcased a fastball that tops at around 96 mph with very impressive breaking stuff including a slider, a very hard curveball, and occasionally a changeup. The transition from high school to college baseball is never an easy one, but Burns has the ability to be a productive starter this season that will only continue to develop.
The batting order for Auburn will be looking a little different this season after losing seven position players to either graduation or the 2017 MLB Draft, but there are still some players that can build on a strong 2017 at the plate. Senior infielder Jay Estes will be looking to build on a strong season last year where he finished with a .276 batting average, 29 RBI, and a team best 19 doubles. Estes will likely move toward the three or four spot in the lineup this season where Auburn hopes to see more clutch hitting and increased productivity from him. Senior third baseman Josh Anthony had a great year in the field and batted a respectable .266 at the plate with 39 RBI. Anthony is a very athletic player with a tremendous arm at third. Hopefully Anthony’s power stroke will come around this season and he can become a more consistent hitter.
A big hurdle that Auburn will need to overcome this season is the loss of many of their core players from last season including the team’s ace Keegan Thompson (7-4, 2.41 ERA), RBI leader Daniel Robert (42), batting average leader Jonah Todd (.376), and closer Cole Lipscomb. Head Coach Butch Thompson has shown how good he is at developing young talent and that his team can be extremely competitive in the SEC. Friday’s game will be the beginning of a new chapter for Auburn Baseball, and the future is very bright for Coach Thompson’s Tigers in 2018.
Both the Auburn High Boys and Girls basketball teams are traveling to Montgomery on Wednesday afternoon to begin the regional tournament. The girls won the area last week and the boys placed second in the area tournament last week in Phenix City, so both move on to the regional championship that starts on Wednesday. First, the girls will battle Enterprise at 1:00, then the boys will take on Lee immediately following.
Scott Bagwell and Noah Gardner will have coverage of both games on ESPN 106.7, espnau.com, and on the ESPN 106.7 app.
Opelika High School:
Deandre Butler- Jacksonville State (Football)
Justin Lewis- University of Massachusetts (Football)
Jamias Presley- Jacksonville State University (Football)
Callahan Saggus- West Alabama (Football)
Auburn High School:
Avery Atkins-LSU (Football)
Michael Moore- Jacksonville State (Football)
Jakob Cummings- University of North Alabama (Football)
Trey Elston- West Alabama (Football)
JaMarcus Knight- West Alabama (Football)
Cordell Plott- West Alabama (Football)
Garrett Morris- University of Pennsylvania (Football)
Seth Selby- Jacksonville University (Football)
Armondo Thomas- ASA College (Football)
JT Williams- Millsaps College (Football)
Khadeesha Crumbly- North Carolina Asheville (Women’s Track and Field)
Andrew Mingus- AUM (Cross Country)
Anna Claire Little- Troy University (Women’s Golf)
Connor Newton- Coastal Carolina (Golf)
Teddy Benda- Chattahoochee Valley CC (Baseball)
Brooks Fuller- Auburn University (Baseball)
Wes Starr- Coastal Carolina (Baseball)
Anna Kate McGinty- SCAD (Women’s Swimming)
Charlie Friedenrich- Cumberland College or Navy (awaiting appointment to the Naval Academy) (Wrestling)
Auburn earned another win on Tuesday night at Ole Miss behind Bryce Brown’s 23 points to improve their record to 20-2 (8-1 in SEC), but there’s no denying that the toughest of Auburn’s schedule is still in front of them. Auburn has proved to the college basketball world that they are the best team in the SEC and is almost certain to earn a NCAA Tournament bid, but the Tigers will definitely be tested before the SEC Tournament in St. Louis. Even though Vanderbilt has the worst record in the SEC at 8-14 (2-7 in SEC), they are far from being a pushover. In fact, they were just a few free throws away from taking down Kentucky on Tuesday night. The Commadors are also a team full of sharp shooters led by Riley LaChance. LaChance is liable to make a shot from almost anywhere and can be tough to stop once he finds his rhythm. So far this season, LaChance is shooting 47% from the field and 42% from behind the three point line.
(Video Credit: ESPN)
After the Commadors on Saturday night, Auburn will go on to play Texas A&M (14-8, 3-6 in SEC), Georgia (13-8, 4-5 in SEC), Kentucky (17-5, 6-3 in SEC), South Carolina (13-9, 4-5 in SEC), Alabama (14-8, 5-4 in SEC), Florida (15-7, 6-3 in SEC), and Arkansas (15-7, 4-5 in SEC). Luckily for the Tigers, the Vandy, Texas A&M, Kentucky, and Alabama games are all being played at Auburn Area. The atmosphere that Auburn plays in at Auburn Area can make it feel like nobody can travel to the plains and win. Auburn is 11-0 at home this year and to have Kentucky at home this season is huge for the Tigers.
In the latest edition of ESPN’s Bracketology with Joe Lunardi, Auburn was projected to be a two seed, so if the Tigers can go at least .500 from this point, they will be in prime position for the NCAA regardless of their performance in the SEC Tournament (where Auburn will have a good chance to go deep). For now all eyes are on this Saturday’s battle with Vanderbilt- A game that is no guaranteed win. A win on Saturday at Auburn Area could possibly make the currently 11th ranked Auburn Tigers a top ten team, which nobody could have predicted before the season began.
Auburn High wrapped up their regular season on Thursday night with a dominating 72-57 win over rival Opelika. Next, Auburn High will travel to Phenix City to take on Smiths Station in the first round of their area tournament on Thursday night. Scott Bagwell and Noah Gardner will have the coverage on ESPN 106.7 beginning at 7:00. That game will also be streaming online at espnau.com and on the ESPN 106.7 app.
After the game, Scott Bagwell was able to catch up with Senior Connor Fields, Junior Justin Brooks, and Assistant Coach Marcus Jackson:
Assistant Coach Marcus Jackson:
The Auburn High Tigers were able to take down Montgomery Catholic at home on Monday night by a 62-43 final score. The win pulled the Tigers to .500 for the season (13-13) and gives them some momentum before their matchup with rival Opelika on Thursday night. Senior Christian Brandt led the offensive charge for Auburn with 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Preston Cook also had a nice game, as he recorded eight points and four rebounds.
Following the senior night matchup, ESPN 106.7’s Scott Bagwell was able to catch up with Seniors Karl Grover and Luke Terry:
The Tigers will have a chance to take down rival Opelika one more time on Thursday night before beginning the Area Tournament in Phenix City next week. Coverage of both the boys and girls games will begin on ESPN 106.7 at 6:00 with Scott Bagwell and Noah Gardner. Both games will also be streaming online at espnau.com and on the ESPN 106.7 app.
Welcome to The Drive Podcast. On the show Friday, Bill Cameron and Dan Peck discuss Auburn basketball’s matchup with LSU, some of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge games and another weekend of football official visits.
The Drive Podcast:
Use the following time marks to navigate the podcast:
- Start of the show: Auburn-LSU basketball game
- 15-minute mark: Auburn football official visits and other recruiting topics
- 56-minute mark: How important are bowl games outside of the College Football Playoff?
- End of the show: Plans for the weekend
If you are an iPhone user, subscribe to The Drive Podcast on iTunes
The number 19 team in college basketball is not looking back on their loss at Tuscaloosa as they get two huge wins over Georgia and Missouri. Auburn passed a big road test when they went to Missouri, in fact they were a 1.5 point underdog before tip. They held a nine point lead early in the second half and allowed it to slip into a one point lead, but did an incredible job of not letting Missouri take the lead and ran away with the win. Auburn held a slim 50-51 lead with 13:15 left in the second half and Missouri appeared to have a lot of the momentum. From that point, Auburn went on an incredible 40-23 run the rest of the game resulting in a 91-73 win for the Tigers.
If Auburn can keep momentum for long periods of time on the road, they will be unstoppable on both sides of the ball. Jared Harper’s vision and shooting are continuing to impress everybody at Missouri. Harper led the team with 21 points- 15 of them coming from the three point line and six assists. When Harper gets the hot hand, he is liable to make from almost anywhere and still has great vision inside. Mustapha Heron had a couple of good performances following a tough game at Alabama. Heron recorded 14 points against Georgia and Alabama and cut back on the turnovers (just one in each game).
As a team, Auburn also proved to have sound fundamentals with better ball control in their last two games. Auburn also shot 88.5% from the free throw line at Missouri and 90.5% against Georgia, which is always a big key to getting the win- especially late in the game. Auburn is an extremely well coached team with a lot of heart, and it shows with having the best record in the SEC. (below) Auburn looks like they are already a lock for the NCAA Tournament, which would be their first appearance since 2003. And ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Auburn as a projected four seed in the NCAA Tournament, which would be the best seeding since 1999.
If Auburn can continue to roll in conference play, a four seed (or better) is not too far-fetched.
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The Auburn High basketball team (10-13 overall, 0-2 in region) will battle their region rival Smiths Station tonight. Senior Christian Brandt, who is Auburn’s leading scorer with 15.9 points per game, is questionable tonight with a foot injury. Auburn lost 57-53 when they traveled to Smiths Station earlier this month and are currently on a three game skid, but hope to snap it against the Panthers tonight in front of a home crowd.
Scott Bagwell and Noah Gardner will have coverage of the girls’ game will beginning at 6:00 on ESPN 106.7 followed by the boys’ game. Both games will also be streaming online at espnau.com and on the ESPN 106.7 app.