The recent basketball success Auburn has had is very little to none. It sort of gets you a little discouraged when you know Auburn has to take the court in less than 2 weeks for the opening game against IPFW. But then again when your football season has already fallen off the ledge for the year (nice way of putting it) maybe basketball season won’t be so bad after all.
Even though this team will be young, I expect bigger things from them and believe Barbee brought in a good group for what he is trying to do here at Auburn. Now I’m not predicting a run in the big dance or anything drastic, but an NIT appearance would be a big step up for a team that hasn’t seen post season play in a few years.
Let’s take a look at the new faces for the Tiger’s this year.
Asauhn Dixon-Tatum- Anytime you can pull in a 7 footer, it will always bring another aspect to your inside game. He is a guy who has great length. He is a solid shot blocker who should bring some much needed size to the paint on both offense and defense. Shockingly he is a smooth shooter, who is consistent within around 10 feet of the goal. Auburn has been in desperate need of a guy on defense who can clean up the boards, and I hope he can come in and start to establish himself as that guy. He is on the thin side and needs to beef up, but I’m sure that will come as time goes on.
Jordon Granger- He came in way to thin, and needs to beef up as well. If you watched any of his high school film though, the kid can flat out shoot the ball. I don’t know what his role will be at Auburn right away because of his size, but I expect big things from him later on down the road. I really hope he can get some action early, but I could see him redshirting to pick up some size.
Brian Greene- I honestly didn’t know much about the guy when he first signed out of the blue with Auburn. The more I looked at his film though, the better I liked the guy. He isn’t a pure shooter, but has great size. He seems to be a guy who you can depend on with the ball, so I hope that carries over to the college level. He will drive strong to the basket, but is a little hesitant to pull up and shoot. Regardless, great job by Barbee’s group in finding this diamond in the rough($1 to Tommy Tubburville for the phrase). He should bring some better size to the backcourt and be a solid player before his time is through.
Shaq Johnson- Anyone who has seen this guy’s film will tell you it looks like ESPN’s Top 10 plays of the week. He can flat out jump out of the gym, and put on a show with his now famous dunks on Facebook and Youtube. Shaq has some major work to do on his shot, because outside of 7 or 8 feet it is almost non-existent. Teams will be able to adjust to him very easily on defense and sag his defender down in the paint. He does have the most athleticism out of any of the new guys, just is the most raw in my opinion. He will get people out of their seats on some fast breaks, and should grow into a special player at Auburn. Jordan Price- Auburn’s highest ranked recruit coming out of high school. He is a guy who can flat out score when the ball is in his hands. He is also very structured in ball passing and knows how to get it into the hands of his playmakers. He was one who I thought was going to come in and contribute early and often, but I have heard from a couple of different people/websites that he has come in overweight, and needs to lose some pounds in a hurry. I hope it doesn’t show much about his work ethic, and discipline to get better off the court. If he can get back in shape like I expect him to, he should be a solid contributor right away.
Sharief Adamu- He is a streaky player who does have good length. He actually has good size and could play early in the post. I don’t expect big things this year, but at least he won’t get pushed around underneath. I think when someone compared him to “an upgraded Adrian Forbes” that pretty much summed it up. He is a guy that will have to learn as he goes. I think he could use a redshirt to learn the game a little more, but I expect him to play when looking at our limited depth down low.
All in all a good addition. I see there being a LOT more talent on the court than years past. I could see this team going somewhere around 17-15, 8-10 in the conference. That would set up for a pretty good team coming back in the next couple years. I think Barbee has the team heading in the right direction, and finally turning the corner for the next few years to come.
**This blog was written by one of our future writers John Porter
Follow him on twitter: JporterAu11