Photo by Jason Caldwell

Auburn Basketball Coach Pearl Sees "Opportunity" In Road Test Vs. Chanticleers

The Auburn Tigers will be heading to the state of South Carolina for a road game vs. a team that played in the NCAA Basketball Tournament the past two seasons.

Freshman guard Bryce Brown (above) has provided the Tigers with another three-point shooting threat.

Auburn, Ala.-- Bruce Pearl's Auburn basketball team will hit the road for the first time this season with a Wednesday evening contest vs. the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers led by Coach Cliff Ellis.

Ellis, the former head coach of the Tigers, brought his team to Auburn Arena last season and went home with a 58-54 victory. Pearl said his Tigers will be challenged to defeat Coastal Carolina in the rematch.

“From our standpoint we will see if we can we handle some adversity as well as what should be intensity from Coastal Carolina,” Pearl tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “This is a big game for them and we know they will be excited about an SEC team coming into their building.

“We did the two-for-one (two games at Auburn Arena, one at Coastal Carolina) for Cliff to be able to get him back,” Auburn’s second-year coach said.

“Another thing we have got to look at with this game is that we are playing a team that was in the NCAA Tournament the last two years,”?Pearl pointed out. “It is a road win opportunity for us and a huge RPI?opportunity for us playing a good team on the road.”

The Tigers go into the contest with a 3-1 record while Coastal Carolina is 3-3. The Chanticleers have a 43-11 record in home games at the HTC Center, their four-year old facility in Conway, S.C., that seats 3,212 fans.

Auburn is coming off a 119-81 victory over Northwestern State on Friday night, an opponent that played without its starting point guard, who was injured.

One of Auburn’s point guards, Tahj Shamsid-Deen, reinjured his shoulder on Friday night and is not expected back in action until the Dec. 12th game vs. Middle Tennessee State.

Pearl was unhappy with his team’s ball-handling after turning it over 17 times vs. the Demons. 

“We were careless with the ball early in the game,” he said. “That was disappointing, but not completely surprising because we took a day and a half off. I just don’t think we valued possessions and our execution offensively wasn’t good.

“We went back and spent about an hour before practice (on Sunday) and we walked through most of our man play calls,” Pearl said. “I did it for a couple of reasons because with Tahj out I am going to have even more new, young guards in there than I have in the past, which could lead to even more instability and a lack of urgency.”

New Williams, a freshman guard who missed the first three games with a knee problem, saw eight minutes of playing time vs. Northwestern State and scored three points while adding a steal.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

New Williams, who is from Santa Monica High in California, is known as a great leaper with three-point shooting skills.

Patrick Keim also made his season debut vs. Northwestern State and the sophomore guard made his only shot, a three-pointer, while adding an assist in six minutes of action.

Freshman guard Bryce Brown, who missed the opener, has provided offensive punch. He came off the bench to score 15 points on Friday night as he hit 4-8 three-pointers. He is averaging 9.3 points per game.

With Shamsid-Deen only able to go nine minutes vs. Northwestern State the Tigers got a big performance from Kareem Canty, who played a team-high 30 minutes. The junior guard finished with 17 points, 10 assists and just one turnover while pulling in six rebounds.

Wednesday’s game will tip off at 6 p.m. CST in Conway, S.C. There is no TV coverage, but it will be streamed at BigSouthsports.com.

The Chanticleers lost 79-73 on the road at Campbell on Saturday. The other losses were at the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii to Nevada (73-56) and Hawaii (74-63). Wins have come on the road vs. College of Charleston (67-61) and at home vs. Grace Bible (104-67) and Piedmont International (116-35).

Badou Diagne, a 6-7, 220 senior forward, averages 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds for Coastal Carolina. Elijah Wilson, a 6-4, 205 junior guard, is averaging 13.8 points and Jaylen Shaw, a 6-1, 190 sophomore transfer from South Carolina, is averaging 11.2 points and 4.8 assists.

Wednesday’s game will be just the third meeting between the teams. Auburn won the initial contest 82-65 in 1965.


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