Auburn basketball: Recap of the Tigers’ past three weeks

Auburn basketball hosts what Bruce Pearl calls the toughest opponent thus far in the young 2022-23 season with Saint Louis in town on November 27 (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Auburn basketball hosts what Bruce Pearl calls the toughest opponent thus far in the young 2022-23 season with Saint Louis in town on November 27 (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

In the words of one Bruce Pearl, I’m baaaaaaack. After three very long weeks of work in response to the tornadoes in Central Alabama, I am back writing the articles I have been wanting to write but didn’t have the time to. Auburn basketball has been in full swing since I took a brief hiatus to focus on work and have played SEVEN games in that timeframe. It doesn’t feel like it, but that’s how it is. Let’s talk about it.

Auburn Basketball Week One Recap

Week One was just one game: Mississippi State. The Dawgs are a solid team and played like a solid team that Saturday night. 69-63 was the final score that night. And the Tigers had to earn a win against one of the tougher and more physical teams in the conference.

This game was the tried-and-true method of winning for Auburn this season. Make your threes, win the game. Auburn made 11-25 threes, good for 44% from deep. 

This was the start of a rocky, but overall good, stretch of play for Auburn.

Auburn Basketball Week Two Recap

Week Two saw Auburn extend its winning streak to five games with wins over LSU and South Carolina. A 67-49 win over LSU and an 81-66 win over South Carolina proved to be two of Auburn’s best performances of the season. The Tigers, once again, managed to make some threes, and played their typical brand of good defense.

This, again, has been the recipe for success under Bruce Pearl. Much like the football mantra of run the ball, stop the run, Auburn’s best teams have made the three and defended the three. These two games were solid examples of both.

Auburn Basketball Week Three Recap

Week Three was where the wheels began to MILDLY fall off. First it was a FUGLY loss to Texas A&M. Shots not falling, defense subpar, turnovers… you name it. Just a bad performance. This was one of Auburn’s worst performances from start to finish. Right up there with the Georgia game in Athens.

The next game was actually a fairly well-played game at West Virginia as part of the final Big 12/SEC Challenge (rest in peace old friend, we hardly knew you). West Virginia, while not the flamethrowing team that its football counterpart has typically been, is a VERY well coached team by Bob Huggins. Huggins, of course, is known for being a players’ coach who loves his kids to a fault. Guys play hard for him until they can’t walk anymore. The Mountaineers played as such. 80-77 was the final score, and back home came the Tigers.

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Auburn Basketball Week Four Recap

Week Four was a frustrating yet satisfying week for the good guys. Sweet, sweet revenge was the name of the first game, as the ever-hated Georgia Bulldogs came to town. Down. They. Went. 94 points and a sweet win against Georgia seemingly turned the tide for the Tigers offensively.

Then the Tennessee game happened. Tennessee might be the best team in the country. Offensively they can be inconsistent, but they have the best defense in the country and rebound offensively as well as anyone. Auburn showed up defensively, but after the first 90 seconds of play, the offense failed to show any signs of life. Tennessee choked the life out of the Auburn offense, and while there were SEVERAL questionable foul calls in Tennessee’s favor and one VERY questionable non-call in Tennessee’s favor, the bad shots and lack of ball movement gave Auburn a very thin margin of error. That’s the ballgame.

Moving Forward

The Tigers are still a tournament team right now. There are ample opportunities to prove to the naysayers (ahem, Jeff Goodman) that this team is deserving of the tournament and at least a 5-6 seed.

Likewise, this upcoming tough stretch of basketball could really cloud Auburn’s season. Tough matchups, including two against Alabama and another against Tennessee, loom and could tank the season. If Pearl and Co. can manage above .500 between now and the end of the regular season, the SEC Tournament could be another springboard for a tournament run as it was in 2019.

As always, War Eagle.

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