GAME 10: Wednesday, December 14th, 2022
#19 Auburn Tigers vs Georgia State Panthers
Neville Arena - Auburn, AL
Time: 7:00 pm CST/8:00 pm EST
Network: SEC Network+, Auburn Radio Network
Betting Odds: Auburn -19.5, Over/Under 134.0 via Draft Kings Sportsbook
(Odds/lines subject to change. Visit DraftKings for more information.)
Well, that was disappointing.
Auburn lost its first game of the season this past weekend in Atlanta as the Tigers fell to Memphis in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event. The good Tigers never seemed to find an offense, couldn’t rebound like we know they can, and couldn’t put together timely stops to prevent Memphis from running away with the game in the end.
This same thing happened last year in a neutral site game, but Auburn was much more competitive in that instance when the Tigers lost to UConn in double overtime. We saw the Tigers come back and win the next 19 games, rising to number one in the country in the process. What we’re looking at now is a team that has to figure out quite a bit, and have some guys grow up to SEC basketball age in a hurry.
One of the troubling items that has been there all season long is the lack of three-point shooting. Last year Jabari Smith’s automatic clip from deep really masked quite a bit, and we don’t have a deadly guy from range this season. While Wendell Green is great, he’s still shooting just 31% from deep. Allen Flanigan leads the team when you factor in volume, and he’s at just under 38%. Chris Moore is 6-11 from deep on the year, and we’d honestly like to see him get more opportunities to shoot. The bad news is that the newcomers who’ve played extensive minutes (Broome, Westry, Donaldson, Traore) are just 2-37 from three this year. Only Traore has hit a shot, and he’s 2-14. Westry is 0-13. Broome is 0-5. Donaldson is 0-5. That’s unbelievably bad.
Now, two of those guys are coming off of surgery or injuries, with Westry’s procedure and Broome’s tweaked ankle, and so maybe that’s affecting things. As it is, what do you do with that? Shut them down and risk some losses now to get right for March? That’s a Bruce decision and dependent on how much recovery is needed, and we’re not privy to that.
Broome’s injury also affects rebounding, and speaks to how Memphis was able to control the boards over the weekend. It was troubling, and we need to figure out ways to eliminate that problem. Thankfully, we should have an opportunity to do that tonight and at least get the feeling back at home.
Georgia State visits tonight, defending Sun Belt champs, but just 5-4 on the year thus far.
Of the four Panthers’ losses, three have come by a total of five points. The other, and most recent game, is a 66-46 defeat at the hands of Northeastern. They’re used to playing close games, and we’re hoping that tonight is not a close affair at all. Thankfully it shouldn’t be.
GSU ranks near the bottom of the country in scoring, field goal percentage, and three-pointers per game. Only three schools have hit fewer threes this season than the Panthers, so we can expect they’ll bag about ten of them tonight.
Size-wise, this is a little team. The biggest guy that’ll play extensive minutes tonight is Ja’Heim Hudson, a 6’7 forward who averages just over eight rebounds per game. Dwon Odom is the volume scorer, hitting 16.1 ppg, and Jamaine Mann and Brenden Tucker both score in the double digits per game as well.
Back at home, though, Auburn shouldn’t have much trouble with these guys, and so hopefully they can head into the road trip out west feeling much better about themselves.
Auburn is going to enjoy the home crowd and a familiar atmosphere, while shooting a bit better and rebounding with ease over a small team. I think the Tigers look good tonight, and they pull us back in to believing how good this team can be. Wendell goes for nearly 20, and we get a big Dylan game with Broome either not playing or spending extensive time resting that ankle. No stress tonight.
Auburn 78, Georgia State 60