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Auburn vs Texas Southern Game Preview and Open Thread

The Tigers return home to start a 4-game homestand to end 2020.

NCAA Basketball: Holiday Hoopsgiving-Memphis at Auburn Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday December 15th, 2020

Texas Southern Tigers vs Auburn Tigers

Time: 6:00PM

Network: SEC Network + (Watch ESPN), Auburn Radio Network

My sources tell me that there is a basketball game inside Auburn Arena this evening. Auburn (3-2), after a 74-71 win over Memphis on Saturday, return to the court tonight to take on Texas Southern (2-3), a team that competes yearly for a NCAA Tournament berth out of the SWAC.

The last time Auburn hosted Texas Southern in 2014, the Tigers of Auburn were lucky to escape narrowly winning 61-60 back in Bruce Pearl’s first season.

Get to Know Texas Southern

While Auburn is one of the younger teams in the NCAA, Texas Southern is one of the older teams in the country. They’re also very well traveled and have played buy games at Washington State, Saint Mary’s, Oklahoma State and Wyoming.

They even gave Wyoming a loss that as Jon Rothstein likes to say, the “Epitome of Brutality.”

The team is led by a former SEC foe as Johnny Jones, formerly at LSU, coaches at Texas Southern now.

Transfers from Power 5 schools are aplenty up and down the Texas Southern roster.

Junior forward John Walker (#24) leads the way for Texas Southern averaging 16 PPG along with 5.6 RPG. He scored 35 points and had 7 rebounds in his last outing against LeTorneau. Walker returned home to Houston before last season after beginning his career at Texas A&M.

Senior guard Michael Weathers (#20) began his career at Oklahoma State. This season in 5 games, he is averaging 14.2 PPG and 5.4 RPG this year and leads the team in assists and steals as well.

Senior forward Galen Alexander (#1) began his career at Georgetown. Alexander is averaging 12.4 PPG along with 5.2 RPG. Alexander has twice as many 3-point attempts as anyone else on the Texas Southern roster.

Junior Karl Nicholas (#5) averages 9 PPG and started his career at Stephen F. Austin. And there is an Alabama connection to this team as forward Justin Hopkins (#15) is a Huntsville native who played at Samford before going to Texas Southern as a graduate transfer.

Keys for Auburn

Justin Powell posted his 2nd straight 26 point game against Memphis and earned SEC Freshmen of the Week honors.

The only freshmen you say?? Not bad for a kid out of Kentucky that wasn’t highly recruited and thought of in this freshmen class.

Auburn needs more than just Powell though and I liked what I saw from J.T. Thor against Memphis. Thor looks to be getting more comfortable and we have to remember that he should be a high school senior right now.

Allen Flanigan was the difference maker late in the Memphis game making some tough shots and drawing a huge charge with a minute left. Flanigan was the only other Tiger to score in double-figures against Memphis and hopefully he can provide a more consistent scoring punch.

Jaylin Williams had just 6 points but dished out 8 assists against Memphis. I’d like to see Auburn try to get him more involved offensively in this game.


Texas Southern is a pesky team and while they play in the SWAC, they’ve given some pretty good teams a run for their money this year. With their experience, I can see them hanging around in this game especially with the youth on Auburn’s team. This will be yet another game that will be beneficial as the Tigers of Auburn look towards SEC play. I think Auburn wins this game but it’ll be a close one for quite awhile.

Auburn 78 Texas Southern 67