The time has finally come for Bruce Pearl to coach a game at Auburn University.
Optimism and interest in hoops is at levels not seen in at least fifteen years on the Plains. A mix of returning players and many newcomers will attempt to start the process of making Auburn basketball relevant.
The first and only exhibition game for the Tigers will be Friday night at Auburn Arena against West Alabama. Amazingly tickets have already sold out, though we will see how many people actually attend.
Senior KT Harrell and Niagara transfer Antoine Mason are expected to lead the Tigers this season. Top junior college forward Cinmeon Bowers will be one of the few reliable players inside, while Tahj Shamdsid-Deen makes a move from the point guard to the shooting guard position.
There will be many new players to watch, and Friday will provide the first look at how Bruce Pearl’s first Auburn team will play basketball. His hallmarks are aggressive man to man defense and offenses designed to get players opportunities to attack the rim.
I’m mostly interested to see how the Auburn fans support this team through the highs and lows of this season. I hope Auburn Arena is filled more often than not, and provides a great home court advantage for the undersized Tigers.
The regular season gets under way next Friday November 14th at home against Milwaukee.
What are your expectations as this new season gets started?