Auburn Basketball: Tigers at Clemson Game Info and Preview


Auburn Tigers (3-4) at Clemson Tigers (5-3)

  • Date: Sunday, December 14, 2014
  • Start Time: 3PM Central
  • Location: Clemson, SC
  • Arena: Littlejohn Coliseum
  • TV Info:
  • Odds (via Clemson (-7)

The 3-4 Auburn basketball team hits the road once again, this time to Clemson, South Carolina. The Tigers will attempt to upset Clemson in Littlejohn Coliseum and reverse the fortunes that have led to two consecutive losses to Texas Tech and Coastal Carolina.

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Auburn has been undermanned and undersized all season. Center Matthew Atewe was injured in the pre-season scrimmage and has not played at all this season, and senior guard Antoine Mason injured his ankle in the opener and hasn’t seen the floor since.

The injuries are no small matter, and have forced the Tigers to play almost the entire season without their biggest player and the nation’s top returning scorer from the 2013-14 season – and have relied on just eight scholarship players.

However, Mason is expected to be back today, and reinforcements are on the way to add size and depth.

Earlier this week, Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl announced that 6-foot-8 forward Alex Thompson has returned from the “indefinite leave of absence” he took from the program late this summer. Pearl also announced that highly anticipated 7-foot-1 center Trayvon Reed has been cleared by the NCAA to join the squad. Both players are in uniform today and could see time on the court.

Having up to three more players available than have been in each of the last six games is a huge boost to the Tigers.

To this point, Cinmeon Bowers has been called on to handle the bulk of the duties in the post. Bowers had a phenomenal start to the season, earning the SEC Player of the Week honors after an 18-point, 17-rebound performance in the season opener and four straight double-doubles. The 17 boards are still the most of any player in the league thus far.

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  • However, if Bowers got into any sort of foul trouble, Auburn could not put a player on the court that is listed at more than 210 pounds. Though Reed won’t be asked to do much today (he’s practiced with Auburn just once), knowing he is there is great in terms of taking pressure off of Bowers.

    With Mason potentially back in the fold, it should also take some pressure off of K.T. Harrell. The senior guard is the SEC’s second leading scorer with 18.3 points per game after scoring a season high 25 points (including 7-for-8 shooting from the three-point line) against Coastal Carolina in the team’s last game.

    As for Clemson, it’s been an up-and-down season following an NIT semifinal performance in 2014.

    After an easy season opening win over Florida A&M, the Tigers unexpectedly dropped two close games to Winthrop and Gardner-Webb. They responded with three wins in a row, including two over NCAA Tournament hopefuls Nevada and LSU, but fell to Rutgers on December 1. In their last game, Clemson upset No. 18 Arkansas 68-65 in overtime.

    Clemson will put Auburn at a size disadvantage once again with three players listed at 6-foot-7 or taller in the starting lineup, including 6-foot-10, 255-pound center Landry Nnoko, forward Jaron Blossomgame, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, and highly touted freshman Donte Grantham. All five starters have averaged double figures in scoring this season.

    For more information on the Clemson Tigers, check out our Q&A with Rubbing the Rock.

    Projected Lineups:


    #5 Cinmeon Bowers, F, Jr., 6-foot-7, 278 pounds, 11.6 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 29.1 MPG
    #25 Jordon Granger, F, Jr., 6-foot-8, 210 pounds, 5.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 25.6 MPG
    #1 K.T. Harrell, G, Sr., 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, 18.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 31.4 MPG
    #13 Tahj Shamsid-Deen, G, So., 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, 7.7 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 28.1 MPG
    #12 K.C. Ross-Miller, G, Sr., 6-foot, 178 pounds, 7.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 23.6 MPG


    #20 Rod Hall, G, Sr., 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, 10.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG
    #21 Damarcus Harrison, G, Sr., 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, 11.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG
    #15 Donte Grantham, F, Fr., 6-foot-8, 205 pounds, 10.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG
    #5 Jaron Blossomgame, F, So., 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, 12.0 PPG, 8.9 RPG
    #35 Landry Nnoko, C, Jr., 6-foot-10, 255 pounds, 11.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG

    Next: How Will Muschamp Impacts Auburn's Top Recruiting Targets

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