The Auburn basketball program took a business trip over the weekend to Boone, North Carolina to face the App State basketball team on their home turf. Many shamed head coach Bruce Pearl for scheduling such a tough matchup so early in the season, but it’s been something that Pearl has done for years. You play good teams if you want to be a good team.
App State came out on top by the final buzzer, beating the Tigers 69-64 in front of a rowdy home crowd. The most noticeable issue for the Tigers? A serious lack of made shots, especially from beyond the three-point arc.
According to Auburn Rivals, the Auburn basketball shot 36.1 percent from three point range over the first five games, but that percentage dropped to 11.6 in their last two contests. When asked about what happened, Pearl answered frankly:
"“I think part of it, obviously, is early in the season there’s no tape on you. The book’s not written,” said AU coach Bruce Pearl. “And then what happens is they recognize what you’re good at, and of course early in the season I’m going to put guys in position to be good and go to their strengths. And then what defenses will do and scouting is they’ll take that away.”"
The Tigers made only 3 three pointers against the Mountaineers, and none of them were made by the starts. Aden Holloway shot 0-6, Johni Broome and Denver Jones both shot 0-3, and Jaylin Williams shot 0-1. Pearl knows that he and his coaching staff will have to make adjustments:
"“The question is, ‘Do you have something else that you’re good at that you can do to counter them taking away your strengths?’ Part of it is execution, part of it was they did a nice job with their scout and with their preparation to bother us offensively,” said Pearl."
Catch Auburn basketball in their next game, the Holiday Hoopsgiving matchup, against Indiana, which will take place in Atlanta this Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.