Auburn started off slow tonight in the second night of a back to back. The score was tied 19-19 at halftime. Both teams were tired, and it was sloppy on both ends. The Tigers did not have a great offensive night, and the game came down to the last possession. Great teams pull out close ugly games like this. The Auburn Tigers are Cancun Challenge champions. Here are a few takeaways from tonights game.
Tournaments are tiring
Both teams looked winded tonight. Of course, they each played games last night. They have also traveled internationally and have been having fun in the sun. The weather is in the 80s down in Cancun, and Bruce has been preaching hydration. Auburn looked fresh last night and tired tonight. This was certainly a contributing factor to the sloppy play.
This Auburn team is very deep
Bruce Pearl is giving big minutes to eleven different players. Coach Pearl has also stated that he does not feel there is much, if any, drop off from his first to his second unit. He has also stated that it’s not necessarily his best five that are starting, but that he’s playing rotations of players he feels fit together. The good news about so many players getting minutes is that if multiple guys are having off nights, there are so may players that can step up. We are yet to see if this rotation will tighten before conference play, but the Tigers will have serious depth regardless.
Officiating could be a problem for Auburn this year
Defense is the centerpiece again for the Tigers this year. They are physical, aggressive, and passionate on defense. However, how much physicality is allowed on a nightly basis can vary wildly depending on the officiating crew. The refs were a primary controversial subject in college basketball last year, and this may be the case again. Auburn fans have been frustrated by officiating much of this year, but never more so than tonight. Morale in this department could be an issue for the Tigers this year as they learn to keep their head up and keep playing hard if calls aren’t going their way. This did appear to happen tonight, but Auburn rallied and pulled out a win.
Finally here are some highlights and Twitter reactions from the game
Auburn opens as massive underdog against Alabama
Lane Kiffin: ‘ That’s news to me, Jon’
A look at Auburn’s depth chart heading into the Iron Bowl
Auburn may be headed to a bowl game, even if they finish 5-7
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