After finishing the out-of-conference schedule at 10-2, Auburn opened conference play with some big leads against visiting UGA. Unfortunately, the game didn't end so great for the Tigers as the extremely young team couldn't hold on to the lead against a veteran UGA squad.
Tonight, Auburn visits Nashville, TN to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. Vandy is 7-6 on the season and opened SEC play with a big win over LSU 96-89. That's their only real major win of the year. They don't really have a horrible loss on the schedule (and Auburn's loss to BC isn't looking as bad, now), though.
Vandy is a team that has done a good job of spreading points around this season. Three players are scoring double-digits in every game and one is just shy at 9.8 ppg. Junior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis leads the team with 16.4 ppg. They spread rebounds around real well, too, with the #2 and #3 scorers leading the team in that category. They also are an excellent free throw shooting team, which could matter a whole lot depending on how the refs call this one.
Auburn's statistical leaders, meanwhile, haven't changed. Mustapha Heron, Danjel Purifoy, and Jared Harper continue to lead in scoring. Austin Wiley is averaging a very respectable 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game for a kid who should just be a senior in high school.
For Auburn, playing with a lead has been an issue all season long. The key will be making good shots, not taking stupid shots, and having at least two of the four freshmen and at least one of Bryce Brown and TJ Dunans get hot.
Winning in Vanderbilt - in that horrible arena - is never easy. Auburn is going to have a tough time in only their third true road game of the season and first SEC road game. Hopefully, winning in UConn will remind this young team that they can do anything.
War Eagle. Go get 'em, Tigers!
How to Watch, Stream, and Listen
Time: 7pm Eastern / 6pm Central
Listen: Auburn Sports Network