After an embarrassing performance in Columbia Tuesday night, the Tigers are looking to bounce back with a good road win over the TCU Horned Frogs in Ft Worth this afternoon as part of the annual Big XII / SEC Challenge. I don't know why, but it seems like Auburn is always on the road for these things other than last season.
The Horned Frogs are 14-6 on the season and are currently 6th in the Big XII. The two teams actually share two common opponents so far this season in Texas Tech and Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs defeated the Sooners 60-57 on their home court (Auburn's 74-70 victory was on a neutral court) and lost to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock 75 - 69. Auburn defeated Texas Tech 67-65 in Cancun near the start of the year.
With the similar records (Auburn is 13-7), Auburn having the better record against common opponents, and TCU on a three-game losing streak, you would think this sets up nicely for Auburn. Then again, this is on their home court and Auburn is coming off a horrific loss.
TCU is led in scoring by - no joke - junior Vladimir Blodziansky from Slovakia. He's 6'11, 220 lbs and is averaging 13.8 points per game. If that seems low for a team leader, know that the Frogs have 5 players averaging 8 or more points per game, so they're spreading the points around. Blodziansky should be quite the match-up for Auburn freshman Austin Wiley. He's not their leader in rebounds, though (he averages 6 per game). That honor goes to 6'7, 210 lbs guard Kenrich Williams who is grabbing almost 10 boards per contest.
Auburn's top four scorers are all freshman. Austin Wiley has now moved ahead of TJ Dunans for the fourth spot with 8.7 points per game. Even with the bum ankle and slow offensive performances in his last two outings, Danjel Purifoy's average is still 12.4. Mustapha Heron is, of course, still leading the team.
Auburn needs a win in this game in a big way. They need the confidence boost of knocking off yet another Big XII team and this time on their home court. They need to bounce back from that embarrassing loss to South Carolina. They need to build some momentum before hosting a hot Tennessee team that just defeated Kentucky and then traveling to Alabama.
It's a very tough game, but it should be a winnable one if the Tigers play the way they did in the final minutes of the Alabama game and not as they did against the Gamecocks.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 5:00pm Central
Listen: Auburn Sports Network