Tigers Looking to Bounce Back On the Road

The Auburn basketball team heads to Nashville for a game vs. Vanderbilt at Memorial Gym as the Tigers look to get back into the winning column after a poor performance vs. Kentucky.

Auburn, Ala.--Following back-to-back losses at Arkansas and at home vs. Kentucky, Coach Tony Barbee's basketball Tigers will look to even their overall record and move to 3-2 in league play on Wednesday night at Vanderbilt.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Memorial Gym vs. the Commodores, who come into the contest with a 1-3 SEC record after picking up a 58-51 SEC road victory vs. South Carolina on Saturday. Coach Kevin Stallings is rebuilding this season and his team has a 7-9 overall mark. There is no TV coverage of the game, but it will be available on line at ESPN3.

Barbee notes that Vandy will play lineups featuring five guys on the court capable of making treys.

"They are a good team, but they are a team like us, a team in transition with a lot of young players," Barbee said. "They have been shooting the ball really well as of late and it is no secret that we have got to guard that three-point line. It is going to be a difficult matchup, especially on the road up at Vandy where they play well."

Three-point shooting was a big issue for the Tigers in Saturday night's loss to Kentucky. The Tigers, who came into the contest shooting 36.1 from outside the three-point line, put up 15 treys vs. the Wildcats and made none of those shots. It was the first time the Tigers had not made a three-pointer in a game since 1997.

Barbee predicted his Tigers will bounce back and perform better vs. the Commodores. "We have played well on the road this year," he said. "What happened the other night was a bit of an anomaly for this team. This team has been fighting like crazy. The other night I think we let our lack of offense effect our level of fight and these guys know we can't do that.

"We had a lot of wide-open shots and those shots had been going down, they didn't go down," the coach added, noting it could have been because his players were pumped up about the chance to play the defending national champions.

"It could have been the moment," he said. "The crowd, the expectations that were on that game, but like I told the guys that is why you play this game. You play this game for that moment. You don't play it just to be out there and get a uniform, you play it for those types of moments and big-time players step up in those type of moments. Unfortunately, we didn't have anybody really step up in that moment and we struggled there because of it."

Kedren Johnson, a 6-4 sophomore guard, leads the Commodores in scoring at 15.1 points per game. The only other player scoring in double figures is 6-1 reserve junior guard Kyle Fuller at 10.6 points per contest.

Rod Odom drives to the basket for Vandy.

Rod Odom, a 6-9 junior forward, is averaging 9.3 points and 4.1 rebounds. He is scheduled to start along with 6-7 forward Sheldon Jeter (5.0 points, 3.1 rebounds), 6-8 sophomore center Shelby Moats (3.7 points, 3.6 rebounds) and 6-5 sophomore guard Dai-Jon Parker (5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds).

Vandy's top rebounder is Kevin Bright, a six-foot-five freshman from Germany, who is averaging 6.4 points and 6.1 rebounds in a reserve role.

Auburn has struggled against the Commodores in recent seasons. Vandy enters the game with a six-game winning streak vs. the Tigers, including a 65-35 victory last season in Nashville.

Senior guard Frankie Sullivan leads the Tigers in scoring at 17.4 points per game and senior Rob Chubb is the top rebounder at 7.4 per contest.

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