Six In Double Figures As Tigers Cruise to Win

Rob Chubb posted a double-double as the Auburn basketball team won its exhibition game 108-57 vs. Victory University. The report features stat and video comments from Tony Barbee.

Auburn, Ala.--Tony Barbee got a look at a variety of players as his Tigers cruised to a 108-57 victory on Tuesday night in an exhibition basketball game vs. Victory University.

Senior center Rob Chubb led the Tigers with 21 points and 13 rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Five other Tigers scored in double figures. The group included freshman Shaquille Johnson, who was 7-7 from the field on the way to scoring 15 points.

Two other freshmen, guard Jordan Price and forward Jordon Granger, scored 13 points apiece while senior guards Frankie Sullivan and Noel Johnson added 11 points apiece.

"I think that is the first we have scored 100 since I have been here so that is a good sign," Barbee said. "Offensively, we have got some guys who can put the ball in the basket and that makes the game a whole lot easier, but I know defensively we are light years away from where we need to be and it is mainly the new guys."

Frankie Sullivan drives to the basket.

The coach said the newcomers took too many chances defensively while not showing enough discipline, but added, "We have got a chance. We have got some depth. We have got some athleticism.

"This is a team we should rebound it better with this year," he added. "We should score better this year. If we can get to the level defensively where we have been, we have a chance to turn the corner."

Chubb hit 9-13 field goals and was 3-3 at the foul line. He had six offensive rebounds and seven defensive rebounds. "That is a great effort by Rob," Barbee said. "The other team didn't have great size, but sometimes it is more difficult for a bigger guy when it is all smaller guys kind of nipping at his ankles.

"Rob has put in a lot of hard work over these first two-plus years," Barbee said. "In my opinion he has a chance to be an All-SEC center this year."

Chubb, who was strong in Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage, said he is excited about the team's potential. "As you saw the freshmen are great,"?he said. "We are ready to go. We have leadership, veterans who have been here and been through the wars so we are just going to help them, shelter them, keep them on the right track. So far they are picking it up."

Chubb said his preseason work against seven-foot juco transfer Asauhn Dixon-Tatum has helped him prepare for the season. Chubb, who is 6-10, said the newcomer has forced him to be better offensively to get his shots off.

Dixon-Tatum led the juco nation in blocked shots last season. On Tuesday night the newcomer scored eight points, added six rebounds and a blocked shot in 14 minutes off the bench.

Commenting on freshman Shaq Johnson, who scored 15 points in 14 minutes, Barbee said, "Shaq played good. He is one of those guys who brings a different level of athleticism to the floor. He can play athletic basketball plays. Maybe we have had one guy who could do that since I have been here--Kenny Gabriel--so Shaq is a guy who is electric.

"I know the fans are excited about Shaq, but he is a guy who has to grow defensively," the coach added. "He does a lot of watching that gets him out of position. He got back-doored three or four times tonight. There are things we are working on to help him grow as a player, not just as an athlete."

Guard Jordan Price had a strong first game.

Price, who was impressive in the intrasquad scrimmage, scored his 13 points on 5-9 shooting. He was 2-4 on threes as the Tigers hit 9-22 with Sullivan leading the way making 3-5.

For the game the Tigers shot 56.6 percent to 32.7 for the visitors. Auburn turned the ball over 15 times while Victory did it 24 times.

Auburn out-rebounded the visitors 52-23.

Price noted that the seniors have been good leaders throughout the preseason and said, "The vets have been pushing us through, helping us and showing us the way. To get out there for the first time was exciting for me and the rest of my freshman class."

Victory University from Memphis dropped to 2-1 with the loss. The Tigers defeated the same team last year in an exhibition contest.

Talking About Shaq: Last summer's national high school slam dunk champion, Shaquille Johnson, got his college dunk, a two-hander with 6:49 left in the first half. He finished the night with three slams.

Shaq Johnson makes his first college dunk.

Another freshman, Granger, had perhaps the best dunk of the night on a fastbreak alley-oop. Barbee noted he was impressed with the power forward who was 5-6 from the field while adding four rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes. "He is going to be a force for us coming off the bench because he gives us legitimate size," the coach stated.

At the Half: The Tigers shot 57.1 percent and forced 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes to build a 61-20 lead. Ten Tigers scored with Chubb leading the way with 15 while Sullivan had 11 and Price added 10. Freshman Brian  Greene Jr. was the only one of the 11 Tigers who played in the half who did not score, but he dished out seven assists in 13 minutes.

Greene finished the night with an unusual stat line. He was 1-9 from the field for two points, but had 12 assists with just three turnovers. Barbee said that he likes the freshman's work ethic and he will improve offensively.

Guard Comes Up Short: Chris Denson did not participate in the game. Barbee said he is disappointed in the junior from Columbus, Ga., who is academically ineligible to play games during fall semester. Denson is practicing with the team and looking good in practice, his coach noted.

Up Next: The Tigers will play their second and final exhibition game on Monday at 7 p.m. vs. Georgia Southwestern. The regular season opener is Nov. 9th vs. IPFW.

Watch Barbee Video Here

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