Auburn started slowly into the second night of a back-to-back tonight. At half time it was 19:19. Both teams were tired and it was sloppy at both ends. The Tigers didn’t have a great offensive night and the game came down to final possession. Great teams narrowly pull out ugly games like this. The Auburn Tigers are champions of the Cancun Challenge. Here are some takeaways from today’s game.
Tournaments are exhausting
Both teams looked exhausted tonight. Of course they played games last night. They have also traveled internationally and had fun in the sun. The weather’s in the 80’s down in Cancun and Bruce has been preaching hydration. Auburn looked fresh last night and tired tonight. This was certainly a contributing factor to the sloppy play.
This Auburn team is very deep
Bruce Pearl gives eleven different players great minutes. Coach Pearl has also stated that he doesn’t feel like there’s much, if any, from his first to his second session. He has also stated that it’s not necessarily his top five that start, but that he takes turns playing with players he thinks fit. The good news that so many players get minutes is that there are so many players to level up when multiple guys have nights off. We’ve yet to see if that rotation tightens ahead of conference play, but the Tigers will still have some serious depth.
The post could be a problem for Auburn this year
Again this year, defense is the focus of the Tigers. They are physical, aggressive, and passionate about defense. However, how much physicality is allowed per night can vary widely depending on the acting crew. Umpires were a contentious topic in college basketball last year, and that could be the case again. Auburn fans have been frustrated at officiating for much of this year, but never more than tonight. Morale in that department could be an issue for the Tigers this year as they learn to keep their heads up and keep playing hard when calls don’t go their way. That seemed to be happening tonight, but Auburn rallied and pulled out a win.
Finally, some highlights and Twitter reactions from the game
Auburn opens as a massive underdog against Alabama
Lane Kiffin: “News to me, Jon”
A look at Auburn’s depth map heading into the Iron Bowl
Auburn can be headed to a bowl game even if they finish 5-7
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