Tony Barbee's first home season at Auburn mercifully ends tomorrow night when he welcomes Ole Miss (18-11, 6-8) to the Auburn Arena. Don't think this team doesn't have something to play for in its final two regular season games.
Sitting at 2-12 in SEC play, Auburn must win one of its final two games to avoid matching the school's worst conference record in the modern era. In Sonny Smith's last season (1988-89), his Tigers finished 2-16 in the SEC and 9-19 overall.
A win tomorrow would tie this year's team with former Auburn coach Tommy Joe Eagles 1993-94 squad that finished 11-17 overall and 3-13 in conference play.
There is a silver lining. Barbee is in his first season on the Plains while those other two were in their last. The future looks a whole lot brighter for this bunch.
Auburn has its work cut out for them Wednesday evening. The Rebels came from 11 points down in the second half Saturday at home against Alabama to grab a 68-63 win. They were led by Chris Warren with 25 points and Zach Graham who put up 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Auburn has won 9 of the past 13 meetings against the Rebels at home, but suffered one of its worst losses of the season back on February 16th in Oxford, where they fell 90-59.
Barbee says Auburn doesn't match-up well with Ole Miss.
"They are a difficult matchup for us because they are so explosive offensively in basically every position," said Barbee.
"The trouble that (Reginald) Buckner and (Terrance) Henry caused at the rim for our offense because of their ability to block shots and change shots, it makes it difficult, but it is at home and our crowd will be electric, and we are looking forward to having the homecourt advantage," Barbee said.
The Tigers will again turn to sophomore Earnest Ross for offense. He comes into the contest averaging 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
They'll also need help from junior forward Kenny Gabriel, who is averaging nearly 10 points a game and 5.6 rebounds.
Auburn closes out its regular season on Saturday when it travels to LSU.
Tomorrow's game tips off at 7 p.m. CT in Auburn.
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