Despair. [dih-spair]. n. 1. Loss of hope; hopelessness. 2. Starting conference play with two straight losses to a middling Vanderbilt team and a mediocre Georgia team.
Being in despair sometimes means realizing your place in the world and how different it is to where you want it to be. Kierkegaard would LOVE this Auburn basketball team. The despair of knowing what could be and isn’t, or the recognition of what is would have given the Danish philosopher and obvious Auburn fan enough material to write sheets of history-altering papers.
Sorry this article is days late. I have been traveling and delays and airport lounges and lost luggage don’t make for good witty banter about basketball. Moral of the story is avoid London Heathrow at all costs if connecting to another destination.
There was a time when games were kind/ When their wins were easy/ And our shots falling/ There was a time when refs were blind/ And the calls weren’t wrong/ and Danjel’s dunks exciting/ There was a time/ Then it all went wrong/ I dreamed a dream in times gone by/ When hope was high and life worth living/ I dreamed, that shots would always fly/ I dreamed that March would see us dancing/ This team was young and unafraid/ Pearl sold dreams he made and used and wasted/ There were ticket prices all paid/ No song unsung, no Cokes untasted/ But the conference games at night/ With their lineups soft as thunder/ As they tear my hope apart/ As they turn your dream to shame/ This summer our roster was a prize/ It filled my days with endless wonder/ It put March in my eyes/ But that was gone when ‘New Year’s’ came/ And still I dream March'll come to us/ That we will see Tigers dance together/ But there are dreams that cannot be/ And there are road-games we can’t weather/ I had a dream the year would be/ So different from the hell of Barbee/ So different now from what it seemed/ Now Vandy killed the dream/ I dreamed/
Seriously, Auburn has now found itself in must-win territory. Auburn HAS to beat Ole Miss tonight. And Mizzou on Tuesday. If it doesn’t beat both of those, it has an even more uphill battle to try to taste March.
It CAN beat Ole Miss. Both teams are 0-2 in conference play and are desperate for a win. The Rebels are led by a Junior guard names Deandre Burnett in points and 6-9 Spanish Forward Sebastian Saiz in rebounds. He is shorter than Auburn’s big men, but is a rebounding machine, grabbing 12.2 a game. Auburn is going to have to box out and who has any idea whether Auburn will do it.
Mizzou has lost its last five games, including a loss to Lipscomb. Losing to these Tigers would be rock bottom for Auburn. Road games are tough, and Columbia is a tough place to play historically.
Things I know About this Team
I know this team, due to its youth, is completely unpredictable. I know Auburn is lucky to have the rebounding presence of one of its freshmen. You might be thinking I am talking about 7-footer Austin Wiley, but no. Mustapha Heron is still leading this team in boards and his lead is widening. I know Anfernee McLemore is rapidly becoming a force for Auburn. He has already passed Horace Spencer and LaRon Smith in total rebounds and has played far less minutes than either of them.
Things I Think About this Team
I think this team needs the old Bryce Brown back. I would love to see him have a great game tonight against Ole Miss. His defense could really help against Burnett. I think Wiley needs to begin to show us why he was called a young Kendrick Perkins. Auburn needs an enforcer and a rebounding presence. He needs to be it.
Things I Want to see From this Team
I want to see this team take off. I want to see potential success actualized. However, if Austin Wiley can’t run the diamond press Pearl wants to run due to his lack of conditioning, then I don’t know if we can expect anything better than what we saw against Vanderbilt.
I also want to see the shooting shirts Auburn wears pre-game to become available to be purchased with American Dollars.