I want to start my column by wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas. It’s a time of year I really enjoy, which is something I guess goes back to my childhood days. It’s still special to see the excitement from the little kids and to be able to spend time with family.
After Auburn’s football players and coaches spend time at home with their families they will get back together in New Orleans next week to begin the final preparations for their game vs. Oklahoma. From everything I have heard about the bowl practices so far is it seems like Coach Malzahn and his staff are getting their folks well. Because of that the Tigers will have a chance to be a much improved team when they finish the season in the Sugar Bowl. Considering the caliber of the opponent that is a very good thing.
For Auburn to have a solid chance to win against the Sooners this team is going to have to be much better than it was late in the season, particularly on offense. The Tigers need to go down to New Orleans with all hands on deck with a goal of playing their best football of the year. Last year they stepped up and played well in the bowl game. If they do that again then I am going to be very interested to see what happens when they tee it up and kick it off in the Sugar Bowl.
With basketball season going strong I am enjoying the opportunity to watch the Auburn men’s and women’s teams. Both play with a lot of energy and both are fun to watch.
For the men’s team I really like to watch T.J. Dunans and it was exciting to see him make that game-winning shot against Mercer. Although it was a last second scramble to get the shot off, he is such a good athlete he was able to gather himself after catching the long pass, turn around and shoot the ball from the corner on-balance with perfect form. It wasn’t a Hail Mary shot or an accident that he made it.
I love how hard Dunans plays, even though he is likely to do some crazy stuff a couple times each game, but in the process he makes some high-energy, hustle plays that give his team a chance to win.
Coach Flo’s team plays hard, too, and I like watching the little point guard, Janiah McKay, who makes a real difference when she is playing well.
I hope everybody has a safe, enjoyable and memorable Christmas. It makes me feel good to be a member of the Auburn Family and it hope it makes you feel the same way, too.