Auburn Basketball Game 8 Preview/Notes

Auburn is on the road for a Sunday hoops contest vs. Clemson of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

K.T. Harrell (above) is Auburn's top scorer.

Clemson, S.C.--Following a nine-day break for final exams, Coach Bruce Pearl’s Auburn basketball Tigers will play Clemson on Sunday looking for a victory after dropping their previous two outings.

Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. CST at Littlejohn Coliseum where Auburn, 3-4, will take on a Clemson team that has a 5-3 record.

“They have beaten Arkansas and LSU, two teams that are picked in the top five in our league,” Pearl said. “They play really well at home. They were a NIT team last year and went pretty deep in the tournament.

“Brad (Brownell) does a great job,” Pearl said. “He is an outstanding coach and they do really great stuff. They have really good length and are bigger than us at every position. I guess we can say that most nights.

“It will be a good match up,” Pearl added. “Clemson is probably picked somewhere in the middle of the ACC and we’re picked in the lower-half of the SEC, but it’s a great opportunity for us to see if we can get a road win. It won’t be easy.”

Auburn leads the overall series 15-11 and took a 66-64 last season in a game played at Auburn Arena.

Trayvon Reed

For Sunday’s game the Tigers are expected to have guard Antoine Mason ready to play after missing the last six games with an ankle injury. Also available for the first time this season will be six-foot-eight sophomore Alex Thompson, who rejoined the team following the end of fall semester classes, and seven-foot-two Trayvon Reed, a freshman who was academically cleared on Friday after finishing classes at prep school.

Auburn’s leading scorer, senior guard K.T. Harrell (18.3 points per game), said his team is happy to have reinforcements. “It’s good to see Antoine getting back into his own,” Harrell said. “He is moving a lot better, and is feeling a little more confident with his ankle, so that’s always good. We need him back as quickly as possible.

“Trayvon and Alex being here, it’s going to help us a lot,” added Harrell, who picked up his undergraduate degree on Saturday. “Trayvon brings athleticism, size--he’s going to change a lot of things. It’s going to bring a different dynamic to our team being seven-foot-two or seven-foot-three. He is huge. Alex can stretch the floor a little bit so it’s going to help us out a lot.”

Alex Thompson, a forward, is shown in action as a freshman. He walked on to the team last season and was put on scholarship.

Clemson is returning to action for the first time since winning 68-65 at Arkansas in overtime, just the second road win over a Top 25 non-conference opponent in school history. The CU Tigers feature a starting lineup with all five players scoring in double figures.

Jaron Blossomgame, a 6-7 sophomore forward, is averaging 12.0 points and 8.9 rebounds. Landry Nnoko, a 6-10, 255 junior center, averages 11.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest.

Other starters include 6-4 senior guard Damarcus Harrison (11.1 points, 3.9 rebounds), 6-8 freshman forward Donte Graham (10.9 points, 4.6 rebounds) and 6-1 senior guard Rod Hall (10.4 points, 3.4 assists).

Consistent Production: Harrell has scored 20 or more points five times this season and 17 in his 37 games at Auburn. He has scored 10 or more points 35 times.

Challenging Schedule: Clemson is the seventh opponent the Tigers have faced that played in a postseason tournament last season.

At Littlejohn: Auburn is making its first hoops appearance at Clemson since losing 84-72 during the 1992 NIT.

No TV: The Clemson game can is available on the Auburn Radio Network and on ESPN3.

At Clemson: This will be Auburn’s seventh time to play at Clemson. Auburn has a 2-4 mark in those contests. Auburn has a 112-106 record vs. current members of the ACC.

Up Next: The Tigers will take on Winthrop on Wednesday at Auburn Arena with tipoff set for 8 p.m.

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