Tigers Enjoy Their Jungle Jam Evening

The Auburn basketball Tigers gave fans a preview of the upcoming season at the Jungle Jam.

Auburn, Ala.--There was more singing and dancing than basketball as Coach Tony Barbee's 2013-14 Auburn basketball team performed for Tiger fans at the Jungle Jam on Friday night at Auburn Arena.

Sophomore forward Jordon Granger won the slam dunk contest, edging senior center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum in the finals.

Junior guard K.T. Harrell won the three-point shooting contest, defeating freshman guard Dion Wade in the final round.

If there had an award for the best dancer on the team, seven-footer Dixon-Tatum would have probably won that event as he drew cheers from the crowd as the players danced and sang to the music provided by Ludacris.

"I loved it," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said of the event. "It was a celebration of Auburn basketball. I think getting Mike Epps and Ludacris was big just to bring the energy to the building and they definitely did that. Mike was funny and obviously Luda is a great performer. On top of that fans got to see an early glimpse of the team."

Tony Barbee watches the action on the court.

Barbee said he appreciates the support his teams have received from the student section, called the Jungle, and brought in the big-name performers for the students. "This was an opportunity for me to give back to them because I know they are fans of both Mike and Ludacris," the coach said. "All combined I think it was a win for everybody. It was a great night."

Harrell, a junior guard who transferred to Auburn from the University of Virginia, was the leading scorer in the brief scrimmage on Friday night. The Tigers played one 10-minute period with a running clock, but that was enough time for Harrell to score eight points.

Ludacris performs at the Auburn Arena as part of the Jungle Jam.

Harrell said the event was "exciting" to be a part of and added, "It felt so good to be out there and be part of a team again."

Commenting on his victory in the three-point shootout, Harrell said, "It was fun. A lot of the younger guys were talking a lot of trash going into it--Benas (Griciunas) and Dion (Wade) telling me, ‘you know, K.T., everybody thinks you are going to win it. I don't think you are going to win it.' I am pretty confident and I said, ‘We'll see.' After I made that last shot in the second round, I looked at Benas and said, ‘I told you so.' It was fun."

Asauhn Dixon-Tatum goes up for a dunk on Friday night.

Harrell performed well in the Tigers' two exhibition wins in The Bahamas in August. He is predicting that Auburn will put a much better all-around team on the court this season.

Freshman Benas Griciunas launches a jump shot in the brief scrimmage.

"We have good shooters on this team," Harrell said. "We are going to shoot it a lot better than we did last year. We don't have guys who just settle for three-point shots. We have guys who can get to the rim, too."

Auburn will play an exhibition game on Oct. 28th vs. Victory University and a second exhibition game on Nov. 1 vs. Paine College. The Tigers will open their regular season with a home game on Nov. 8th vs. Nicholls State.

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