Barbee's Team Preparing for Rematch Vs. Tide

The Auburn men's basketball team will take on Alabama on Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa.

Auburn, Ala.--The last time Auburn played Alabama the Tigers went into the basketball contest with a six-game losing streak and ended it with a 49-37 victory over the Crimson Tide.

Going into Tuesday's rematch in Tuscaloosa, the Tigers haven't won since that night in Auburn and are currently on a five-game losing streak.

Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers will take a 9-18 record, including a 3-11 SEC mark, into the contest that will tip off at 6 p.m. CST at Coleman Coliseum. The game is scheduled to be televised on ESPNU.

Alabama, which lost in double overtime at LSU on Saturday while Auburn was losing at Ole Miss, will bring an 18-9 overall record and a 10-4 SEC mark into the contest.

"Obviously, being an in-state rival, it is going to be a tough game with the fact that we beat them at our place," Barbee said. "They are led by one of the toughest guards in our league in Trevor Releford, who is coming off a game where he scored 36 points at LSU. He is very difficult to stop and is playing with a lot of confidence right now."

Releford, a six-foot junior guard, leads his team in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Trevor Lacey, a 6-3 sophomore guard, is scoring 11.9 points per game while six-foot-six sophomore guard Rodney Cooper is averaging 11.4 points.

"They have a lot of pieces," Barbee said. "They are one of the best teams in our league with Releford and are getting a lot of production out of Rodney Cooper. He is averaging 19 points and almost 10 rebounds in the last two games. It is going to be a tough challenge for us.

"We are going to have to go in there with a lot of confidence be able to handle their pressure," Barbee said. "We are going to play much better than we did last time."

Coach Tony Barbee

The Tigers are coming off their worst loss of the season, falling 88-55 at Ole Miss on Saturday. The bright spot in that contest was a solid game from freshman guard Shaquille Johnson, who led the Tigers in scoring with 18 points. He made 7-11 shots on the way to his season-high scoring game.

Barbee noted that the freshman is "getting better and better" the more he plays and that his confidence is increasing.

"He has been able to make plays off the ball, off the bounce, and he is knocking down shots," the Auburn coach said. "We are very pleased with the way he is progressing and we are excited about his future in the program. He is going to be one of those pieces as we go forward that is going to help us turn the corner with this program."

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