World news – Auburn faces the « really good » Alabama team

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Ahead of the Auburn Basketball against Alabama matchup, head coach Bruce Pearl says his team may face the best team in the SEC.

« They’re all locked up and playing really well together, » said Pearl. “They guard like crazy. And I think they have a belief. I think Alabama will look around and say, “Who is better than us? Who is better in our league than Alabama? « 

Auburn has lost three conferences in a row when faced with Alabama, which is 3-0 in the SEC so far. The Crimson Tide has beaten Tennessee and Florida for two straight weeks and is currently number one in the conference, while Auburn is currently last.

In the last few school meetings, Auburn has been the team to boast of the veteran list, but this year it will be Alabama, led by Senior Guards Herb Jones and John Petty Jr. managed to dominate the teams offensively at the tide.

Both Petty and Jones averaged more than 12 points per game, each shooting better than 43% off the field. Jones and Petty also appear on the defensive, with the tandem scoring 26 steals in their team’s first eleven games.

Auburn is entering the matchup as a young, untested team led mainly by underclassmen and may miss its biggest newcomer.

Pearl said on Friday that newcomer Justin Powell, who has played point guard in the absence of newcomer Sharife Cooper, is « commonplace » after a head injury last Saturday against Texas A&M.

Junior Jamal Johnson will likely take the starting role for the injured Powell take over and make his second start of the year.

Johnson shoots 38 percent off the field and is the Tiger’s fourth highest scorer. Johnson also has two 20-point games off the bench this year, hitting a career high of 21 against Arkansas.

« I think Allen Flanigan, Jamal Johnson and Jaylin Williams have improved the most for our returning players. In addition, they have to continue, « said Pearl.

The offense for the tigers is the focus in Perle’s eyes. While Auburn has made the most three-point shots since Pearl in 2014, the team’s scores don’t reflect that.

Sales were a gigantic part of Auburn’s early bouts, and teams are generating free points from it. Against Ole Miss, Auburn turned the ball 16 times. They had 18 sales against Texas A&M the week before.

« With a younger team we turned it a little bit more so we have to play through the contact and allow the sales to be forced sales, » said Pearl. « We definitely have to take good care of the ball. »

The students will finally be in the stands for Auburn’s home game against Alabama. At the Tigers, the last eight home games against Alabama, the tide was exceeded by an average of over 10 points. But even if the fans return, Pearl will know that his team is facing what may be the greatest challenge they have ever seen.

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By Jake Weese | Sports editor

By Jake Weese | Sports editor

By Jake Weese | Sports editor

The Auburn Plainsman welcomes a thoughtful discussion of all of our stories, but please keep comments polite and topical.

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