Auburn defeated Victory, 108-57, in the Tigers' exhibition opener Tuesday night. Yes, we know it was an exhibition game, but Auburn has not put up three digits on the scoreboard since Nov. 29, 2003 (vs. Grambling, 105-56). Head coach Tony Barbee had the following to say about the game:
"I think it is the first time we have scored 100 since I have been here, so that is a good sign. Offensively, we have some guys that can put the ball in the basket and that makes the game easier. I know this, defensively, we are light years from where we need to be and it is mainly the new guys. They need to understand it isn't about gambling and trying to get a steal. It is about being in the right position and being disciplined defensively. We have a chance and we have some athleticism. We should rebound better this year and we should score better. If we can get to the level defensively where we have to be, we can turn the corner."
For more postgame quotes, click here.
What we already knew
* Six newcomers (Asauhn Dixon-Tatum, Shaquille Johnson, Jordan Price, Shareif Adamu, Brian Greene Jr., Jordon Granger) bring athleticism and improved offensive skills. For the Tigers have been short on playmakers in recent memory, and these guys will help change that.
* Wallace is on scholarship. Although this year, it is not an engineering scholarship; it is an athletic scholarship.
What we learned
* One important junior (Chris Denson) is ineligible for the fall semester.
* Sullivan is beginning to look like himself pre-injury.
* Chubb shows improvement, but at times, he still shows glimpses of last season. He did have a double-double (21 points, 13 rebounds), but his hard hands sent a few hook shots awry.
* Johnson, a bit of an unknown, has a beaut of a 3-point shot. He had limited playing time last season due to a wrist injury on his shooting hand, and we only saw glimpses of his talents.
* Payne is willing to grind it out on the floor when going after the ball. It is nice to see that kind of grit again on the Plains.
* Johnson makes YouTube highlights a reality. He makes one think of a comic book super hero. So easy. He had 15 points against Victory.
* Dixon-Tatum has the wingspan to hug the arena. He barely has to hop to put it in the basket, and his body awareness/mechanics are impressive for a guy of his size.
* Price just might be the shooter we've been hoping for. He put up 13 points and hit two 3s.
* Granger makes a case for himself as a shooter and closed the game with a flourish. He also had 13 points and was 5 of 6 from the floor.
What we still don't know
* How will this team fare against a team with consensus All-American point guard? We might know more when they meet Isaiah Canaan and the Murray State Racers in the Charleston Classic on Nov. 15.
* How will this team stand up against an up-tempo offense? We should know on Dec. 29 when they meet John Groce's 24-second shot clock-driven Fighting Illini in Chicago.
The Tigers are back on the hardwood Monday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. CT against Georgia Southwestern for their final exhibition game. The regular season opens at Auburn Arena Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. CT, as the Tigers will take on IPFW.