Auburn Basketball: Cinmeon Bowers is the (Only) Big Man on Campus


Feb 22, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum shoots a free throw against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the second half at Auburn Arena. The Commodores beat the Tigers 67-59. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

“We’re not going to be very big, or very tall or very long,” Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl said at a pre-practice media session earlier this month, “but we are going to be physical.”

Pearl made this statement with a positive spin that should be expected from one of the great talkers in college basketball. It is why he was able to make a living as an on-camera analyst while serving a three-year show cause penalty from the NCAA. However, the opening words are hard to ignore when looking at the roster.

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The Tigers aren’t very big. Or very tall. Or very long.

This season, Auburn is likely to lean heavily on talented yet smallish guards like KT Harrell, Antoine Mason, KC Ross-Miller and Tahj Shamsid-Deen. And despite the excitement surrounding this year’s Auburn basketball team, that lack of size (which despite Pearl’s spin is likely to result in a less-than-ideal overall physicality) could pose a problem for the Tigers.

Sure, there are a handful of players listed at 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8, but the only player that looks like a dominant physical presence is junior college transfer Cinmeon Bowers.

The good news, of course, is that Bowers has the ability to be a dominant physical presence. Bowers comes to Auburn from Chipola Junior College as one of the highest rated JUCO players in the nation. He averaged 12.4 points and 8.9 rebounds there last season, and played a major role in the team winning 52 games over the last two years.

Listed at 6-foot-7, 278 pounds, Bowers’ frame has evoked natural comparisons to Auburn legend Charles Barkley. Bowers wears his weight a little better than Barkley did, though. As Justin Hokanson of 247Sports puts it:

"Down low may be Auburn’s key to long-term success this season in junior college transfer Cinmeon Bowers. The former Florida State signee, Bowers stands 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds, but that 275 pounds looks good. Bowers has tremendous quickness, he has a high-energy motor, he can handle the basketball in the open floor, his drop step is solid and he enjoys running the floor. Bowers is extremely competitive. Bowers’ game isn’t knocking down mid-range shots, and his free throw shooting leaves something to be desired for now, but finally, Auburn will have a legitimate low post presence to compete with the elite big men of the SEC."

And, Bowers certainly fills a need. Center Matthew Atewe is the only other player on the roster listed at 230 pounds or more.

For now, that is. Seven-footer Trayvon Reed is expecting to join the Tigers in January. Should he make it out of prep school on time, Reed will team with Bowers to give Auburn one of the better big man duos in the SEC. But Reed’s arrival should be awaited with cautious optimism at best because nothing is guaranteed.

Right now, Bowers is the only big man on campus.

Next: Bruce Pearl is a Coaching Machine

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