I really don't want to talk about this one, but I have to.
It was ugly. First there came the word that Kareem Canty is suspended indefinitely. Bruce Pearl announced that Cinmeon Bowers would start at the Point Guard position. You have to at least appreciate Bruce's sense of humor.
Bruce Pearl with gallows humor on pregame radio today: pic.twitter.com/aNgQbkpXxe— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) February 6, 2016
Things went about as badly as you could expect for Auburn offensively without Canty in the game. The Tigers were shooting less than 10% halfway through the second half. Nothing was going in under the basket. Absolutely zero was dropping from beyond the arc for the majority of the game, and things were just generally awful.
The defense was at least playing fairly stout in the first half. While only scoring 22 points, they held Georgia to 33. When the second half got underway and Auburn's shooting troubles really kicked in, Georgia was able to pull away and get things out of hand fairly quickly. They were helped by the fact that suddenly any defensive move Auburn made became a foul in the second half.
Bryce Brown, fresh off a hot shooting night against LSU Tuesday evening, didn't have any points until a free throw midway through the second period. He knocked down his first three shortly thereafter, but it was too little too late. Auburn had to get New Williams in on the action out of necessity, but he's obviously still bothered by his knee as he came up limping at times.
Cinmeon Bowers didn't play horribly at the PG spot, but he played about as you would expect a big man of his size would do playing a position he's definitely not meant for.
There's definitely one thing you can credit the Tigers with, though. They don't quit. Georgia tried to blow it wide open in the 2nd half, but as with so many other games Auburn fought until the end and managed to make it much more interesting. They got this one back to within 10 before the final buzzer sounded when they trailed by nearly 30 at one point in the 2nd half.
Auburn hoped to get out of the funk they've been in over the last few games, but it just wasn't going to happen, tonight. Auburn was playing without five players who could make up a pretty good starting line-up of their own with Canty, Shamsi-Deen, Dunans, and Purifoy the current team members unable to play for some reasons, and then Trayvon Reed who is back with the team, but redshirting this season.
Auburn basketball still has a long way to go, but don't let tonight's performance make you think Auburn will never climb out of this. The Tigers have the coach to get them to the top of the conference, and they're recruiting the talent that will do it, too. I really think that this team as it stands with every player healthy and eligible would be one of the better teams in the SEC right now. The margin is that thin. Good times are coming. Just don't expect too many of them going forward in this season.