The Tigers have not played a game in a week while taking fall semester final exams, which end on Friday. The end of the semester will be the beginning of playing time this season for senior guard Lincoln Glass, who is expected to be an immediate contributor at the point and the shooting guard spots.
Glass has been allowed to practice while being suspended for academic reasons as Auburn has posted a 4-3 record. His presence is expected to make an immediate impact on a team that is looking for more consistent production at the point guard position. "We are excited about having him back and I think he is excited," Coach Cliff Ellis says.
Glass has been limited to being a cheerleader on the bench at the home games, but based on his play during Auburn's tour of Spain in August he could be one of the top scorers in addition to stabilizing the offense as the point man.
Even with Glass back, the Tigers might not be up to full strength for the Marshall game. Adam Harrington is scheduled to have facial surgery on Friday to repair a fractured cheek bone. He suffered the injury in the 77-72 loss to Virginia last Saturday.
Ellis says he is hopeful that Harrington will be able to play vs. Marshall even though the 6-5 junior has not been able to practice this week. However, that is still uncertain. "We don't feel at this point he is going to have to wear a mask when he does come back," Ellis notes.
If Harrington is not able to start, the Tigers are expected to replace him with freshman Dwayne Mitchell, who would take over the point guard duties and move Marquis Daniels to Harrington's wing guard spot. Mitchell is averaging 3.7 points and 3.0 assists per game. Harrington is averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Auburn's opponent is also expected to have a new player available on Saturday night. Ronald Blackshear, a 6-5 sophomore guard from Camilla, Ga., was a prep All-American recruit who originally signed with Temple. He transferred to the West Virginia school and is now eligible for a team that has won five straight after opening with losses to George Washington (69-64), Kentucky (90-73) and Troy State (77-72). Victories have come against Shepherd (96-46), Arkansas-Monticello (93-63), Winthrop (71-65), Radford (67-63) and NIU (79-76).
Auburn's Ellis says he is impressed with 6-9, 210 senior forward Tamar Slay. "He can beat you inside and out," Ellis says. Slay is averaging 22.3 points and 6.1 rebounds. Center J.R. Van Hoose has impressive numbers, too. A player once on the AU radar recruiting screen, the 6-10, 255 center is averaging 18.3 points and 12.3 rebounds. He gets rebounding help from 6-8, 245 senior forward Latece Williams, who is averaging 9.6 rebounds and 12.9 points.
The starting guards are freshmen. Ronny Dawn is a 6-3, 185 and is averaging 9.6 points and 3.5 assists while Enoch Bunch is a 6-0, 190-pounder who averaging is 6.5 points and 3.6 assists.
"They have some experienced players who know how to play," Ellis says. "It is going to be a difficult matchup."
After the trip to Mobile, the Tigers will be back in action at home as South Alabama comes to Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night.