5 players Auburn doesn’t want to see in the SEC Tournament

Bruce Pearl's team is good enough to win the 2024 SEC Tournament, but these five players, who are on contending teams, could spoil the party for the Tigers. Why Mark Sears, Antonio Reeves, and other scoring guards are Auburn's worst nightmare in March.
Alabama Crimson Tide guard Mark Sears (1)
Alabama Crimson Tide guard Mark Sears (1) / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
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. Mark Sears. 2. Mark Sears. Mark Sears. 523. . player. PG. Senior

Really, when playing Alabama, one question determines the outcome of the game; how well did the Crimson Tide shoot from three? Alabama is fourth in three-point attempts and 14th in three-point percentage at 37.9%. Nate Oats leans heavily on analytics and has completely phased out the mid-range game from his offense. 

Oats’s style has made Alabama a high-variance team, but this season Mark Sears has emerged as their steadying force. Sears is averaging 20.4 points a game, up from 12.2 last season, and is shooting 50.9% from the field and 44.7% from three on 5.2 attempts per game. 

Sears has scored over 20 points in 10 of Alabama’s last 11 games and against Auburn he dropped 22 in Alabama’s 79-75 win over Auburn on January 24th. Then, he scored 25 in the February 7th rematch which Auburn won 99-81. 

With his shooting and quickness, Sears is a difficult matchup for any team, but at just 6-foot-2 his lack of size means he’s not the worst matchup that the Tigers could draw in the SEC Tournament.