Auburn, Ala.--There haven’t been many big wins over the last decade for Auburn basketball, but that doesn’t diminish what Coach Bruce Pearl’s team did on Saturday in Athens against the Georgia Bulldogs when you call it one of the best in the last 10 years. When you factor everything involved it’s tough to find a more impressive recentwin for the Tigers.
Facing a Georgia team with everything to play for and sporting a Top 25 BPI ranking, Auburn would have been a prohibitive underdog even if the team was at full strength, but that was far from the case. Already without Matthew Atewe to start the season, Auburn was also without starting guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen after another shoulder injury last week has him headed for surgery.
When you throw in Antoine Mason’s situation it was too much of an uphill battle for most teams, but not this Auburn group. Deciding to meet his teammates in Georgia after spending time with his ailing father back home in New York City, Mason jumped in and was a big part of a huge road win as the Tigers came back from nine points down in the last four minutes to get a victory.
Like we said before the season began, this season would likely be more of a roller coaster ride because of the lack of depth and talent available for Pearl’s first team. While that has been the case, there have been plenty up moments already in year one. With more talent on the way and a staff of relentless recruiters ready to show what is possible on the Plains, there are more good times ahead for the basketball Tigers.
Win or lose this Tuesday night against Alabama things are definitely on the right path, and there is no question the culture is changing one game at a time.
Return Of Rocky
All in all it was a successful opening weekend for the Auburn Tigers on the baseball diamond as they won two of three games from Binghamton. While the offense broke out late in Sunday’s game, for the most part, however, the offense struggled to get anything going against the Bearcats.
With many better pitching staffs to face before the season is done it’s reasonable to expect this team to struggle again offensively at times. Because of that the Tigers will need quality pitching behind No. 1 starter Keegan Thompson. One of the guys they are hoping to get that from is senior Rocky McCord, and so far so good.
Making his first start since 2013 after pitching just two and two/thirds innings last year, McCord allowed just three hits and an unearned run in five innings of work. Always a pitcher with very good stuff, McCord is looking to have a strong finish to his Auburn career and Sunday’s performance was a good beginning and very important for both he and the team moving forward.
Auburn’s softball team is off to a 12-0 start and a big reason why is one of the top offenses in the country. Scoring 138 runs and allowing just 26 this year, Coach Clint Myers has his team clicking on all cylinders at the plate with 25 home runs, 23 doubles and four triples. That’s an impressive total of 52 extra-base hits, or an average of over four per game.
With a team batting average of .444, Auburn has four everyday starters hitting better than .500 led by leadoff batter Tiffany Howard, who is hitting at a .606 clip. Well on the way to eclipsing last season’s school record of 83 home runs and 440 runs scored, the Tigers have things jumping on Jane B. Moore field early in 2015.