Basketball Tigers Mostly Trending Up

Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn basketball team is looking for a much better finish than the Tigers struggled through last year.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn Tigers head into their final eight games of the Southeastern Conference basketball regular season on Wednesday night with the identical SEC record they had at this time last year.

Last year the Tigers proceeded to lose all of their remaining SEC regular season contests and then closed the season with a loss to Texas A&M in the opening round of the SEC Basketball Tournament in Nashville.

The Tigers will be back in action on their home court at 7 p.m. CST Wednesday with a 3-7 league mark and an 11-10 overall record as they take on the Kentucky Wildcats.

Last season Auburn picked up its third SEC win and ninth overall victory with a home decision over Alabama on Feb. 6th. It will be a major disappointment for the 2013-14 Tigers if they don't surpass their SEC victory total by a significant margin.

Beating Kentucky, which is 8-2 in the league, is going to be a major challenge, but after that contest the Tigers have a home game on Saturday vs. a Mississippi State team they came close to defeating in Starkville.

The Tigers will be a heavy underdog to win at Florida (21-2 overall, 10-0 SEC) on Feb. 19th, but look to have solid shots to win any of the remaining games after that with Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Tennessee coming to Auburn Arena along with road games at Alabama and Texas A&M.

After finishing the regular season vs. the Aggies in College Station, Tex., the Tigers will move on to the SEC Tournament scheduled March 12-16th at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Last year's leading scorer was Frankie Sullivan, who averaged 14.5 points per game. Chris Denson, who was the No. 2 scorer last season at 11.9 points per contest, is averaging 20.2 this season, which puts him as the current league leader.

K.T. Harrell, who redshirted last season, has provided scoring punch from the guard position.

Rob Chubb, who like Sullivan was a senior last season, was the No. 3 scorer at 10.5 points per game. Auburn's No. 2 scorer this year is K.T. Harrell at 19.4 points per game with Tajh Shamsid-Deen number three scoring at 9.4 points per outing.

So far this season the Tigers have improved in most of the major statistical categories. Here is a breakdown of those numbers:

Scoring Per Game: Trending Way Up, from 64.8 points per game last season to 73.9 points per game this season.

Scoring Defense: Trending Down, from 68.8 points per game allowed last season to 72.9 allowed per game this season.

Field Goal Shooting: Trending Way Up, from 40.9 percent last season to 45.2 percent.

Three-Point Shooting: Trending Slightly Up, from 31.1 percent last season to 31.9 percent this season.

Freshman Tajh Shamsid-Deen has been a starter at point guard.

Free Throw Shooting: No Real Change, 70.3 percent this season compared to 70.0 percent last season.

Field Goal Shooting Defense: No Real Change, 43.1 this season compared to 43.0 last season,

Three-Point Shooting Defense: Trending Way Down, 37.9 percent shooting vs. Auburn this season compared to 34.5 percent last season.

Rebounding Margin: Trending Up, Plus 0.6 per game, up from minus 1.0 per game last season.

Turnover Margin: No Real Change, 0.2 fewer turnovers per game than opponents, up from 0.1 fewer turnovers per game than opponents last season.

Assists Per Game: Trending Slightly Down, 12.2 per game this season from 12.375 last season.

Blocked Shots: Trending Up, 4.7 per game this season vs. 3.9 per game last season.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories