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Louisiana-Monroe at #22 Auburn Game Preview and Open Thread

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Tigers look to move to 2-0 on the young season against ULM

NCAA Basketball: Morehead State at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Friday November 12th, 2021

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Auburn Tigers

Auburn Arena

Time: 7PM

Network: ESPN+, Auburn Radio Network

After an impressive defensive performance against Morehead State on Tuesday night, the Tigers return to the court tonight to host Louisiana-Monroe. It will be the Tigers last home game until December 1st as Auburn will play their next 4 games away from the friendly confines of Auburn Arena. It’s another opportunity for this team to get some more game experience as the non-conference schedule will get tougher as we look towards Thanksgiving and into December.

Get to Know Louisiana-Monroe

This is the Warhawks 2nd game against a SEC opponent and its an understatement to say the 1st one didn’t go so well. ULM fell 101-39 to LSU in Baton Rouge on Tuesday night.

ULM was picked to finish last in the Sun Belt this season but return their top 2 scorers from last season. They were led in scoring by senior Russell Harrison who averaged 12.5 PPG and was a 30% 3-point shooter. Junior guard Koreem Ozier averaged 11.4 PPG last season and shot 33.6% from 3. Tuesday’s leading scorer, freshmen forward Thomas Howell, averaged 4.7 PPG last season in his first season for the Warhawks.

Keys for Auburn

The biggest key for me this game is get out of this game healthy. Jabari Smith dealt with some cramping issues in the second half and KD Johnson knocked knees with a Morehead State player late in the 2nd half. As far as we know, both should be good to play tonight but definitely don’t want to see anymore guys go down at this point in time.

We heard all offseason the Wendell Green Jr.-Jared Harper comparisons and early on, we saw why. Green knocked down a trio of DEEP 3s from spots where we used to see Jared Harper knock down 3s. It was a sight to behold and shows his ability to take over a game when he needs to.

KD Johnson came off the bench and provided a spark to start the second half after a slow start while playing great defense that we saw some last year while he was at Georgia. It’s going to be fascinating to see how his role evolves over the course of the season.

Prediction

Auburn’s a heavy favorite in this game and on paper, this looks like a game where Auburn should be able to take care of business early and plenty of guys have a chance to step up and have a big game. I’ll go with Zep Jasper to have a big game tonight. His defense got Auburn going early Tuesday night but he dealt with foul trouble so his defensive prowess didn’t show on the offensive end. Regardless, the Tigers should be able to take care of business in this one.

Auburn 87 Louisiana-Monroe 49