Big Baby Presents Big Problems for AU

Auburn head basketball coach Jeff Lebo and forward Korvotney Barber talk about the upcoming game against Glen Davis and the LSU Tigers on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--After dropping roughly 50 pounds following his sophomore season in which he was named the SEC Player of the Year, Glen "Big Baby" Davis has continued to shine and be one of the top post players in college basketball as a junior.

Playing in the 340-350 pound range as a freshman and sophomore, Davis averaged 13.5 points and eight rebounds his first season at LSU and 18.6 and 9.7 last season. This year at 6-9 and a biscuit under 300 pounds he's dropping in 19.7 points per game and adding 10.8 rebounds.

Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo, who must try to find a scheme to slow him down when the Tigers play at LSU on Saturday at 2 p.m., says about Davis, "He's probably my favorite player in all of college basketball."

Auburn played LSU close in both meetings last season, but Davis and the LSU Tigers were too much.

Coming off a 24-point 17-rebound performance in the conference opener in loss to Alabama on Tuesday, Davis, as well as his strong supporting cast down low of Tasmin Mitchell, Darnell Lazare and Magnum Rolle, will likely cause troubles inside against Korvotney Barber and Josh Dollard.

"All of the big men (in the SEC) are tough," Barber explains, "but Big Baby is probably the toughest one out of all of them. It's going to be a tough match, but I'm ready for it. He's lost like 40 or 50 pounds but he's still a big guy. He still weighs 290-something and outweighs me by 70 pounds. It's going to be fun to play against the big guy. Just don't let him get a lot of touches and you'll be all right."

That may be easier said than done because of the different ways Davis can score.

"There's not a guy in college basketball who understands how to use his body better than him," Lebo notes. "He's shooting the ball now a little bit from the perimeter, he's putting it down from the perimeter and once he puts it down and gets it going...He's good enough now and he's got all the spin stuff on the perimeter where he can put it down one or two dribbles and if you get in front of him he's going to use his body, spin and get by you. And you're going to be flying underneath the bucket somewhere.

"He's got a little dog in his game," Lebo continues. "He's got a little nastiness about him when I say dog. He's going to demand the ball in crucial times and he's going to get it off. He thinks every shot, that's his ball, on the offensive glass. He has the right mentality with aggression.

"He outweighs us by so much and he's so much stronger. He can pass out of double teams and then if you back off him on the perimeter he can shoot it and also if you back off him he can get a head of steam and get it moving on you. He's become very, very difficult to defend."

Davis is shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and 73.5 percent from the free throw line. He has also made 9-23 three-point attempts this season, not bad for a guy his size.

As good as Davis is offensively, his effort and defensive play probably matter just as much when it comes to winning and losing.

"I very rarely, watching him play for the last several years, see him have a bad game," Lebo says. "He is a very consistent player and his effort is always there. He's a pretty good passer, he's got a right hand, left hand and defensively he knows who he is. He stays on the ground and he's not a shot blocker, but he's like two guys down there when you catch it in the post."

Saturday's game from Baton Rouge will be televised regionally by Lincoln Financial Sports.

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