Talking about wins is a LOT more fun than talking about losses and we get to do that today and for the next few days.
The last time Auburn played in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, an extremely talented freshmen center played one of his best games, if not his best game as an Auburn Tiger. If we get performances like this from him this upcoming year, it’s gonna be a special year on the Plains.
Today on our countdown, we get to talk about Austin Wiley! The biggest concern with him is obviously staying healthy but when he’s right, he can be one of the best big men in the SEC. On this night in Fort Worth, he showed that potential.
Total Points: 25
Date: January 28, 2017
Opponent: at TCU
Final Score: Auburn 88 TCU 80
Wiley was 11-13 from the field, 3-7 from the free throw line and recorded 7 rebounds in addition to his 25 points. The crazy thing is he did all of this in just 21 minutes!
In the first half, he had just 4 points and Auburn held a 45-43 lead at halftime. With 15 minutes left, TCU led 57-55 when Wiley scored the next 5 points, a free throw, a dunk and a tip shot that put Auburn up for good. This was the start of a 25-2 run over the next 10 minutes that gave Auburn it’s biggest lead of the game at 80-59. Wiley had 10 of those 25 points on that run. TCU went on a small run to cut into the lead but Wiley’s dunk with 3:42 left put Auburn back up 18. The Frogs made another late run cutting the lead down to 9 with a minute left, but Austin had 1 more dunk for good measure to put Auburn up 88-77 and the Tigers won the game 88-80.
(About halfway through this video there’s 3-4 straight plays in the decisive run where Wiley took over in the paint and finished at the rim).
This is the one time we’ll see Austin on the countdown but seeing games like this out of him gives me hope he has a huge senior season. He’s certainly capable and has the talent of being as good as he showed that evening in Texas. If Auburn can get 15-20 productive minutes, at least, out of Wiley each night, Auburn’s gonna have the ability to beat people on the interior. Auburn intends on slowing down the pace a bit this year, something different than what we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years.
Tomorrow at #46, we go back to the 2017-2018 season and look at a game that broke a long losing streak against an SEC opponent.