Auburn basketball: 3 players primed to level up in conference play

Bruce Pearl has an unconventional 11-man rotation right now, but through that massive group of impact players, these three will ascend to lead the team through the SEC.

Auburn Tigers player Chad Baker-Mazara (10)
Auburn Tigers player Chad Baker-Mazara (10) / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Chad Baker-Mazara. Chad Baker-Mazara. . G. player. 525. . Sophomore. Chad Baker-Mazara. 6'7" 180 lbs

The San Diego State transfer is another efficient weapon off the bench. Baker-Mazara played 12.8 minutes last year for SDSU and this season he’s up to 19.5 minutes for the Tigers as a sophomore and is averaging 9.2 points. 

Chris Moore starts on the wing as more of a defensive presence, but Pearl goes to Baker-Mazara for buckets. Last time out against Penn, he took a season-high 10 shots and finished with a season-best 16 points, not an easy task in just 20 minutes. 

 Moore, the senior, provides some length as a wing defender but is shooting 10% from three on 0.8 attempts per game. In conference play, teams create more detailed scouting reports and those reports will all say to play off of Moore. That will clog up the defense for the rest of the starters, and make life much more difficult.

Baker-Mazara is already playing more minutes than Moore, but this is another case where the backup deserves even more opportunity. By the end of the year, I expect Baker-Mazara to be playing well over 20 minutes a game and be Auburn’s second-leading scorer behind Broome.