Tigers Return Home to Face Oldest SEC Foe

The Tigers return home for the 177th meeting of its series with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--After a tough, two-game stretch that saw the Tigers drop contests to Arkansas and Tennessee on the road, the Auburn men's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Auburn Arena on Wednesday to square off against a well-rested Georgia Bulldogs team.

While Georgia (10-10, 1-5), which has enjoyed a week off since dropping two-straight at home to Ole Miss and Kentucky, is looking for its first SEC road win, Auburn (12-9, 2-5) is looking to continue its winning ways at home, where the Tigers 11-1 on the year.

"I expect on Wednesday that's it's going to be a tough game," said head coach Tony Barbee. "Georgia--they're kind of backed into the corner, but so are we, so I know we're going to come out and scrap and fight."

Barbee said the game will match two similar teams that are strong defensively, but struggle to manufacture points on the offensive end of the floor.

On offense, the Bulldogs will turn to one of the best freshmen in the conference, 6-5, 200-pound Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The 6-5, 200-pound guard is averaging 14.4 points and five rebounds per game.

The offense will be directed by the team's second-leading scorer, senior point guard Gerald Robinson. The senior accounts for 13.4 points of the Bulldogs' 61 points per game average, as well as 3.6 assists per contest.

After seemingly breaking out of his shooting slump, junior guard Frankie Sullivan was held in check Saturday by the Volunteers, knocking down only two of his 12 shots for five points after averaging 17.4 points in Auburn's previous four outings.

"We play confident at home," Barbee said. "What happens, typically, is your role players play well.

Barbee noted that the discrepancy between the Tigers' performance at home and on the road stems from not getting enough production from the team's go-to guys who are supposed to carry the load for the role players who, typically, don't play well on the road.

"To be a good team, you've got to play with that same type of attitude and swagger on the road," said the head coach. "We haven't quite figured out how to capture that yet and take it on the road with us."

The Tigers may be without Josh Langford again, as the sophomore guard is still recovering from a concussion, which could open up playing time for reserve guard Varez Ward, who elevated his play with 12 points and five rebounds against Tennessee.

"I thought he played with as much speed and quickness as he has all year long in the Tennessee game," said Barbee of Ward after Monday's practice. "He showed the same today in practice."

Auburn and Georgia will meet for the 177th time Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Auburn Arena. The Bulldogs hold a narrow 89-87 lead in the series, but the Tigers have won seven of the last nine in Auburn.

The game will be carried live on SEC Network stations and on ESPN3.


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