Senior Center Has Higher Expectations

Asauhn Dixon-Tatum talks about the Auburn basketball team as the Tigers prepare to play two exhibition games in The Bahamas.

With Rob Chubb gone the opportunity is there for senior Asauhn Dixon-Tatum to become the center of attention on the 2013-14 Auburn basketball team.

Dixon-Tatum and his teammates are in The Bahamas this week to play a pair of exhibition games with contests scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings against local teams from the Nassau area.

"I think I improved a lot this year," says the seven-foot center, who joined the Tigers last season as a transfer from junior college. As a backup to Chubb, Dixon-Tatum averaged 3.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per contest while playing an average of 14 minutes per contest.

"I have been putting on weight and working on my personal skills and stuff," he said, noting that he is up to 235 pounds, 10 more than he played at last season. The senior said he would like to get his weight into the 240s before the start of the season.

Most of Dixon-Tatum's teammates have been on campus with him this summer taking classes. They have been going through formal team practices run by Coach Tony Barbee and his staff in addition to doing strength and conditioning drills. The players have also been competing in pickup games.

"Summer has been going pretty good actually," Dixon-Tatum said. "We have made a lot of progress. A lot of hard work is being put in this summer. Coach is making sure we are putting in the work."

Asauhn Dixon-Tatum is shown in action as a junior vs. the Kentucky Wildcats.

Asked what he is expecting from a team that will be relying heavily on its 2013 recruiting class, Dixon-Tatum said, "I'm seeing a lot of potential, a lot of great things out of the newcomers. I like the way they work--their work ethic is unbelievable. They are catching on quickly."

Asked if any of the new players have really stood out, Dixon-Tatum said, "Yeah, actually all of them. I can't say just one person caught my eye because all of them have got my eye. They have done some things that I am like, ‘Wow. Okay. Dang.'

"We have been building chemistry all summer so I feel like the chemistry is actually already better than it was last year," the senior center added. "I just want to contribute to whatever will make my team get to where we want to be. If that means rebounding, blocking shots or whatever, and doing it at a high level, I am going to do my best to get it done."

The Tigers will play a game at 8 p.m. CDT vs. a team called the Real Deal Shockers at the Kendal G. L. Isaacs Gymnasium on Tuesday. On Thursday the Tigers will face The Bahamas All-Stars.

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