Things didn't get any better for Auburn tonight against Vanderbilt. The first 10 minutes of the game started off nicely, but that was more a product of good defense than it was Auburn doing anything particularly great on offense. The Tigers went into the Under 12 timeout only trailing by two, 14-12.
Coming out of that timeout is when things started going downhill. Auburn shot just over 23% for the first half, and nothing was really going right. Tyler Harris - one of Auburn's leading scorers for most of the season - didn't make a basket in the Tennessee game and then struggled mightily in this one, as well. I suspect his back troubles that have plagued him for the last two games have something to do with that.
It's so hard to find anything good right now, but there are some bright flashes at times. Cinmeon Bowers has played much better at Point Guard than I thought he would have originally. He even picked up yet another double-double. TJ Lang hit a few three point shots. If he and Brown can get hot together, they can go a long way towards making up for the loss of Canty.
There were the usual troubles, too, though. Horace Spencer has got to stop fouling. He's a great shot-blocker, but that doesn't help Auburn when he's sitting on the bench with 4 fouls and the second half isn't even half done. It was nice to see him catch a long pass and somewhat fake the opponent before slamming home a dunk late in the game. I'd love to see Auburn's big men use their size and just go for the easy dunks rather than finesse a layup that somehow still misses.
These recaps probably won't be terribly long for the rest of the season since there's really not much actual analysis you can pull out of these games. Auburn's roster is so depleted with players playing completely out of position that all we can really do is look at and analyze individual performances, and I'm not the most qualified person to do that. In fact I'm completely unqualified to do it.
If there's one good thing you can point to it's that even with the struggles of the roster, the players who are still playing out there are giving it their all. It might not work that well, but they're not just giving up.
Auburn will be back in action again on Wednesday against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville.