After a low scoring loss to Georgia in Athens on Saturday, Auburn (9-13, 3-7 SEC) hits the road again to face Tennessee (11-12, 4-6 SEC) in Knoxville, and once again, Cinmeon Bowers will get the start at point guard due to Kareem Canty's suspension.
"Are you serious?"
It's okay, Cim. We all continue to ask this question ourselves.
To be fair, though, he had a fairly decent game at the position against Georgia on Saturday. Bowers came out of Athens with 12 points (half coming off free throws), 13 rebounds, and only one turnover. Pretty impressive for a guy who doesn't seem to know how to hit a layup without a behind-the-back move.
He'll be looking to improve his scoring line in Thompson-Boling Arena tonight as Bruce returns once again to his old stomping grounds. Last season, Pearl's team played the Vols once (in Knoxville) and lost. Tonight, he'll have the chance for a sweep (home-and-away series) of an SEC team—something rare in this season of injuries, frustration, and inconsistent position play.
With Kareem Canty still in the dog house, the Tigers will also rely on Tyler Harris, who is now Auburn's active leading scorer with 14.8 points per game. Bryce Brown had a great scoring night against LSU last week, but he struggled against Georgia. Behind Cinmeon Bowers, Patrick Keim and New Williams will be available to run point.
Tennessee will be looking to even the series behind senior guard Kevin Punter, who is averaging 23.2 points per game. He is second only to Ole Miss's Stefan Moody (23.5 PPG) in conference stats, but a lights-out performance tonight could get him closer to the top spot. Punter had 27 points in a win against Kentucky at home last week and 24 in Saturday's loss on the road to Arkansas. If Auburn isn't able to put strong defensive pressure on Punter, it could turn into a night similar to the one Moody had against the Tigers in late January.
Hopefully by the end of the night, the only reason we'll be asking, "Are you serious?" will be due to Cinmeon Bowers somehow leading a depleted Auburn squad to victory and a series sweep over a team that shares a home victory over Kentucky in common.
Don't forget—we'll have your recap after tonight's game here on the site.
War Damn Eagle.
How to Watch:
Auburn vs. Tennessee
When: 6:00 PM CT
Watch: SEC Network
Listen: Auburn IMG Network
Radio Affiliates: 100.5 FM (Birmingham), 94.3 FM (Auburn), 1230 AM (Huntsville), 106.5 FM (Mobile), 92.3 FM (Montgomery)