Bruce Pearl's second season as the head coach of the Auburn Tigers begins tonight when the UAB Blazers come to town.
UAB is an NCAA Tournament team from last season. Bruce Pearl has shown he's not afraid to test his team against quality opponents in the non-conference season. He did is last season, he's already started it this season.
UAB's starters from last year's team are all back. Auburn's starters? Well, there's Cinmeon Bowers and Jordon Granger. Those are the only two contributors from last season that are expected to start for the Tigers.
UAB returns the majority of the production that got them to the tournament in terms of starters and subs, while Auburn has to replace the leading scorers from the 2014/15 squad. Things really do not look good for the home Tigers on paper.
The exhibitions showed some promise, though. Tyler Harris and Kareem Canty look good. Cinmeon Bowers has lost a lot of weight (though he still struggles with free throws). Horace Spencer is a shot blocker. Unfortunately, three point shooter New Williams is doubtful with a knee issue and Bryce Brown is serving a one game NCAA suspension because he played in one extra summer league game. Both are freshmen and newcomers to the team.
The game is sold out. Auburn Arena should be rocking. With the UGA game Saturday morning, there should be plenty of students in town to fill The Jungle. Plus it's a game against a quality team whom Auburn has a little discussed history and rivalry with.
Year two of the Peal Era begins, tonight. We'll get a decent idea of how it stacks up against quality competition, tonight.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen Live
Time: 8:30 CST
Streaming: SEC Network+ (it'll be a very basic broadcast and have Rod and Sonny Smith on the audio)
Audio: Auburn IMG Network
This game was originally scheduled to not be on TV. The only SEC game on opening night that would not have been telecast. Given the league schedule and the fact that Auburn is playing a tournament darling from last season, that was rather strange. Thankfully, ESPN granted permission for Auburn to use the in-house video feed (what's seen on the video board) and the audio from Rod Bramblett and Sonny Smith. The fact that you'll hear Rod and Sonny makes it immediately better than anything else ESPN3 could have put together.