Auburn opens out its season tomorrow against North Florida. Don't be lulled into thinking this is just another directional school, the Ospreys are the reigning back-to-back Atlantic Sun champions. Last year, they averaged almost 85 points per game. This year, they're expected to finish second in the ASUN behind Florida Gulf Coast.
Remember when Northwestern State came into Auburn a few years ago, got hot, and put up 70+ in the second half on Auburn? This squad looks like that. Last season, the Ospreys hit more three pointers than any other team, earning the nickname, the Birds of Trey.
As a side note, Ospreys are awesome birds and a seriously cool mascot.
The Ospreys are led by senior guard, Dallas Moore. Moore is last season's Atlantic Sun player of the year and was an honorable mention All-American. He set North Florida's single season record for both points and assists last year. In addition to being a great set shooter and facilitator, Moore drives to the hole and shoots beautiful floaters over the defense. He plays basically the entire game.
Freshman Jared Harper is getting baptized by fire Friday against a man who may be the best point guard we see all year.
The Ospreys also return senior center Chris Davenport. He led the team in field goal percentage, rebounds, and was second in assists. Big men who create opportunities are my favorite kinds of centers. He's a clever, fundamentally sound, slightly-undersized center. He's got great ball-handling skills. He's not afraid to take the ball at the top of the key and work an opposing center as if Davenport were a guard himself.
Horace Spencer will need to show better discipline than he had last year or Davenport is going to get him into foul trouble early.
Last season, the Ospreys struggled in their games against the SEC. They almost upset LSU and were blown out by Arkansas and Florida (in the NIT). The Ospreys had the reputation for not getting back on defense and gave up huge point totals in all three games. If you like offense and fast breaks, tomorrow will be fun to watch.
I think Auburn wins the game by a final score that looks more comfortable in a box score than it felt live. North Florida will make some runs on us, but Auburn wins 95-81.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 8:30pm Central
Listen: Auburn Sports Network