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Auburn vs Colgate Game Preview and Open Thread

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The Tigers host a NCAA Tournament team from last season tonight.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Monday November 18th

Opponent: Colgate Raiders

Location: Auburn Arena

Time: 7PM

Network: SEC Network, Auburn Radio Network

Auburn Basketball on a Monday night? Yes please!!!!

Auburn will play their final home game of November tonight as the Tigers welcome the Colgate Raiders, out of the Patriot League, to Auburn Arena this evening. Auburn is coming off a 116-70 win over Cal State Northridge on Friday night to move to 4-0 on the year. This is the 2nd game of the Legends Classic for Auburn.

Samir Doughty had a career high of 33 points and if we were redoing the Countdown that we had for Tip-Off, Samir’s game would have landed him at #2 on the highest scoring games by an Auburn Tiger this decade.

J’Von McCormick set a new school record by dishing out 16 assists on Friday night as well. All in all, the Tigers had their way all night against the Matadors but tonight will be a much bigger challenge.

Get to Know Colgate

Tonight is the 1st all-time meeting between the two schools.

Colgate comes into Auburn 1-2 on the season but have played close games at both Syracuse and Clemson. They return their top 3 scorers from last year’s a team, one that won the Patriot League Tournament and participated in the NCAA Tournament. They are picked to win the league this season. In the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament last season, they pushed Tennessee to the limit but ultimately fell 77-70 as a #15 seed. On that day, they were led by junior guard Jordan Burns (#1) who had 32 points for the Raiders and was 8-13 from 3-point range. This after scoring 35 against Bucknell in the Patriot League Championship game. Last season, he averaged 16.3 points and 5.7 assists a game.

So far this year, Burns is averaging 12.3 points a game and has more turnovers (11) than assists (10) and is 9-23 from 3 so far this year, taking 10+ 3-point attempts the past 2 games.

While Burns made the headlines in March, Colgate’s best player is senior forward Rapolas Ivanauskas (#25) and he’s their go-to guy in the paint. After transferring to Colgate from Northwestern, Ivanauskas made a huge impact in his first season playing for Colgate. He’s the defending Patriot League Player of the Year after averaging 15.9 points, and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 43.4% from 3-point range. He’s 6’10” and will play the 5 spot for the Raiders. So far this year, he leads the Raiders in scoring at 14.3 PPG along with 7.3 rebounds. He’s off to a slow start from 3 but he’s not afraid to step out and take one, after all he attempted 99 3-pointers last season.

Colgate’s 3rd leading scorer last year was senior forward Will Rayman (#10). He averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season. So far this year, he is averaging 12.7 points and 8.3 rebounds a game and is 6-9 from 3-point range.

Other players to know about are Bowling Green transfer guard Nelly Cummings (#0), a junior averaging 10.7 points a game and sophomore guard Tucker Richardson (#15) averaging 9 points a game so far this year.

What to Watch from Auburn

Will Samir Doughty continue to wear the headband? If he plays the way he’s playing, he most certainly should.

Doughty is leading Auburn averaging 18.5 points a game and is shooting 44.4% from 3-point range. He was 6-8 from 3-point range and had 8 rebounds to go with his 33 points, all in just 24 minutes of action. Samir has at least 5 rebounds in all 4 games so far this year.

One of the things that I’ve been impressed the last 2 games is the play of Jamal Johnson off the bench. He didn’t play well against Davidson but averaged 11 points off the bench in the 2 games last week and was 6-9 from 3-point range in those 2 games. Without Johnson’s 4 3s in Mobile, Auburn doesn’t win that game. I’m excited to see Johnson evolve as he gets more comfortable in his role on the team.

Danjel Purifoy is averaging 11.3 points a game so far this year but to me it feels like he’s doing rather quietly. I’m hoping to see Danjel go off in one of these games for 20+ points like he did his freshman year. Perhaps tonight is the night.

Prediction

This will be a much tougher task than Friday night. The Raiders have their top 5 scorers back from last year and have played Syracuse and Clemson close in their buildings. Colgate will challenge Auburn on both sides of the ball as they’re a good defensive team as well. I think the Raiders will keep this close for awhile but I think Auburn will pull this game out late.

Auburn 75 Colgate 61