Tigers Looking for 4th Straight SEC win

A report on the Auburn basketball Tigers is featured as the Tigers head to LSU.

Auburn, Ala.--As his Auburn basketball team heads to Baton Rouge hoping to win a fourth consecutive game after opening SEC play with six straight losses, Coach Tony Barbee said his players' focus is on getting better when it plays LSU on Saturday.

"Less than a month ago I don't know who was talking about the losing streak, but we weren't and neither are we talking about momentum," Barbee said.

"We're talking about process. We are talking about getting better. We are talking about individuals getting better, guys who are in a little bit of a rut getting out of that rut for us. As a team we're talking about getting better. That is all we're focused on."

Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. CST at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. A victory would give the Tigers their longest winning streak since closing the 2008-09 regular season with four consecutive wins.

Commenting on LSU, Barbee said, "They are a talented team so it doesn't matter where you play them. I am a big believer that it doesn't matter if it's at home, on the road or if it's out in the street corner at the park. Basketball is basketball. No matter where it is, home or away, I expect to win regardless of where that is."

LSU is led by junior forward Johnny O'Bryant, who is averaging 15.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Jordan Mickey is averaging 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest.

Barbee said that LSU's entire roster offers challenges. "It's not just those two," he said of O'Bryant and Mickey." They have a lot of guys that we're going to see playing in the NBA one day and it's not just those two. The (Jarell) Martin kid is one of those guys that's a difficult matchup. With them playing (Shavon) Coleman kid, who was the four last year, he's now starting at the two for them. And their guards, the way they shoot the ball, there is a lot of different challenges.

"Obviously, O'Bryant starts it for them," Barbee said. "He's a hard matchup for anybody in this league. He's so talented, so big, so aggressive. He's grown to the point where he's patient against the double teams. He used to get frustrated early in his career, now he doesn't. He's a willing passer out of it and it makes his team better."

Chris Denson leads the Tigers in scoring at 19.8 points per game and fellow guard K.T. Harrell is close behind at 19.5 per game.

"They need to continue to be aggressive, from start to finish, and not wait until it's too late," Barbee said of his top scorers. "Those guys have done a good job of getting us off to a great start and then everyone else can build off their confidence.

"This team is playing with a little bit of an identity now and it starts with those two guys," Barbee added. "When you have your two catalysts playing with that kind of energy and that kind of leadership and that kind of confidence, no matter if it's home or away, it becomes contagious for the rest of the bench."

Asked if the Tigers have gained confidence, Denson said, "We see how poised we are and winning builds confidence. I think the three-game winning streak that we are on has built confidence and it has us more poised for the upcoming games."


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories