What: Auburn Tigers vs Oregon State Beavers
When: 8pm CDT
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
How to Watch: This one is only available via ESPN3.
How to Listen: Auburn's radio broadcast is here.
Live Stats: Here.
The Tigers are coming off another game in which they had a number of cold spells from the floor. Just how cold? Well, let's check WarRoomEagle's charts, and OH WOW, THAT'S BAD.
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Yeah, so we have problems when we're without one of our major scoring threats and the other is having the worst night of his Auburn career.
Is there any good news to be had? Well, maybe. Oregon State did play in the post-season last year, but it was not the NCAA Tournament. Nor was it the NIT. They played in the CBI, which is the lowest of all the post-season tournaments. However, it's still more than Auburn has done in recent memory, so by default they're still the better team. According to the official site, they return only one starter from that team, but seven other players who were letter winners.
Auburn is likely to be an underdog in quite a few of its games going forward. That's not very surprising, nor is it out of the ordinary given the last few seasons. If Auburn can break .500 in that stretch, then I really like our chances of making some form of post-season tournament. I really am curious what this team will look like when Mason gets healthy and when Trayvon Reed arrives on campus.
For now, though, we're going to have to take this team for what it is: very much a work in progress. We're missing some key elements (Atewe, Mason), and still learning a new system. One very bright spot has been Cinmeon Bowers, who - to my uneducated eyes - appears to be getting better with each game. He still makes some dumb mistakes with the ball, but he's playing out of his mind. He has a chance to tie Jeff Moore's 1987-88 run of five straight double-doubles tonight, and I have no doubt that he'll make that.
One thing is for sure, this team can be fun to watch. They can be very frustrating when they're shooting horribly and go 4, 5, or even 7 minutes without a basket, but they still fight. That's definitely something we can all appreciate.