Senior, Coach See Progress at Hoops Scrimmage

A report on the Auburn men's basketball team's Saturday intrasquad scrimmage is featured.

Cinemon Bowers drives to the basket on a fastbreak in Saturday's scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.--K.T. Harrell, who led the winning Blue squad in scoring with 19 points, said he believes his Auburn basketball team has made progress since its last major scrimmage.

The senior guard scored 19 points and added six rebounds while hitting all six of his free throws. Kareem Canty, a redshirting transfer guard, led the White team with 20 points.

“It was a really good scrimmage,” Harrell said. “We competed out here today and had a lot of fun. I think we took more steps forward and we got better.

“Defensively, we are starting to really lock in,” Harrell said. “We still have a long way to go. Communicating is a big area where we need to get better.”

K.T. Harrell, Auburn's top returning scorer, is shown at Saturday's scrimmage.

Harrell’s Blue team, which featured the top players minus redshirting guard Kareem Canty, took control of the scrimmage early and won 92-46.

Full-court pressure helped the Blue team jump to a big lead. “Coach wants us to pick up the pace and control the tempo and we did that today,” Harrell said.

Coach Bruce Pearl said, “It was the first time we have kind of gone top eight or nine guys against everybody else. Thank God they (the White team) had Kareem to keep them in the game. You can see how special he is going to be.

“Because of our lack of depth it has been hard to do that, but I have got to get these guys playing together,” Pearl said. “This week we finally started to practice better. I think before you can play better, you have to practice better.”

The Tigers will have a closed scrimmage next weekend in New Orleans vs. Tulane and the coach said the players are beginning to show more of a sense of urgency with the season drawing nearer. The Tigers play a home exhibition game on Nov. 7th vs. West Alabama and open the regular season a week later vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Bruce Pearl makes a point at Saturday's scrimmage.

Pearl pointed out the Tigers still have a lot to learn before playing a game. He noted they haven’t worked on a pre-game warmup, haven’t practiced a zone defense yet and have put in only two of the coach’s eight different press defenses.

“We have a lot of work to do, but we shot the ball well,” said Pearl, whose Blue team hit 51.5 percent of its field goals 17-19 free throws and 7-21 threes.

The coach repeated a theme from earlier practices, noting, “We are going to have a challenge rebounding. We have got to get 50-50 balls because we are not a good rebounding team. Way too many times balls were loose and we didn’t come up with them.”

Cinmeon Bowers led the Blue team in rebounding with 10 while adding 18 points as he hit 9-14 field goals.

Antoine Mason scored 18 points for the Blue team while Jordon Granger finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Tajh Shamsid-Deen scored seven points and added three assists with just one turnover while playing point guard early in the scrimmage before switching to the two-guard spot.

Malcolm Canada is guarded by Kareem Canty (11).

Matthew Atewe scored nine points and added eight rebounds for the Blue team. Malcolm Canada scored six points and added three assists with one turnover while K.C. Ross-Miller scored three points and made four assists with non turnovers.

Freshman guard K.T. Lang scored 13 points for the White team while walk-on Cole Stockton added nine points.

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