Auburn basketball returns to the court this afternoon against Boston College in the Under Armour Reunion at Madison Square Garden. It’s a pretty big deal to play in what’s considered the most famous arena in the country. Fortunately for the Tigers, this is also a game that should be a fairly easy win.
Boston College had the dubious distinction of going winless in the ACC last season in basketball AND football. It was not a good year to put it mildly. This year hasn’t started out too great for them, either in head coach Jim Christian’s 3rd year. They’ve lost four of their last five games to powerhouses like Richmond, Harvard, and Hartford. Their record now sits at 4-5 coming in against the 6-1 Tigers.
To say Boston College is young would be putting it mildly. Their roster lists only three seniors, zero juniors, six sophomores, and six freshmen. They’re not a very tall team, but they do have two players larger than all of Auburn’s scholarship players in freshmen center Johncarlos Reyes (6’10) and forward Nik Popovic (6’11). Neither have added significant contributions to the Eagles’ team so far this season, though, with the two of them averaging around 10 minutes of playing time per game between them.
The Eagles only have one player averaging in the double-digits and that’s 6’5, 190 lbs sophomore guard Jerome Robinson. He’s averaging a stout 18.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. The next highest scorer is 6’7, 188 lbs sophomore A.J. Turner with 9.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
Auburn, meanwhile, continues to rely on its freshmen. Mustapha Heron, Danjel Purifoy, and Jared Harper lead the Tigers in scoring with 15.4, 14.9, and 12 points per game respectively. Bryce Brown is next on the list with 7.1 points per game, and that’s even with his issues hitting the three-pointers lately. If he can break out of his recent slump, it would provide a huge spark to Auburn’s offense.
I know most Auburn fans were hoping for word of another freshman joining the team for tonight’s game, but unless the Tigers have been very good at keeping word under wraps, that’s unlikely to happen. The last thing I knew of was a waiting game for the NCAA to give final clearance (and no, this isn’t like last year’s Purifoy situation). Hopefully, we’ll have him very soon. I suspect we’ll at least have him before conference play begins.
Since this game should be one we can be confident in Auburn winning, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it ends up being a close game. The Tigers should be able to pull it out, though, and get the big victory in New York.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 5:30pm Central
Stream: FoxSports Go
Listen: Auburn Sports Network
The Tigers return to the court after a nice week off for Finals.