Coach Jeff Lebo's Tigers will take on Southern University of Baton Rouge at 5 p.m. on Saturday at The Mitchell Center on the campus of the University of South Alabama. In the second half of the doubleheader, Mississippi State will play South Alabama.
Commenting on how he believes his team will play after the layoff and the dismal performance in an 88-59 loss to West Virginia, Lebo says, "I don't know. Hopefully, we will respond well. Our team knows knows that we can play much better than that. It wasn't any indication of how well we can play. We just have to put that behind us, move forward and play well vs. Southern."
Auburn brings a 4-2 record into the game vs. 1-6 Southern, which is led by 6-7 freshman forward Barry Honore. He is averaging 9.0 points and 7.1 rebounds. The team does not have a player averaging in double figures in points scored.
The Tigers have four led by junior forward Korvotney Barber, who is scoring a team-high 14.8 points per game and contributing 8.0 rebounds per contest, which is also a team high.
Junior forward Rasheem Barrett is averaging 12.8 points per game, senior guard Frank Tolbert is next with 11.7 points per game and sophomore guard DeWayne Reed is averaging 11.3 points and 3.5 assists.
The Tigers will continue to play with a short bench. Sophomore reserve forward Lucas Hargrove is out of action with a broken bone in his hand and freshman center Boubacar Sylla continues to be sidelined with an ankle problem.
"It is frustrating not having Boubacar and Sylla out there," Lebo says. "I know they are frustrated not being out there with their injuries. We can only control what we can control."
Southern's starting lineup is one of the smaller ones the Tigers will face with it going 6-7, 6-7, 6-5, 6-2 and 6-1. Reserve Joseph Jack, a senior forward, is the big man at 6-9, 240 pounds. He averages five points and six rebounds per contest.
Lebo is hoping for a boost from senior Quan Prowell, who will be playing in just his second game since returning from a suspension. Prowell scored just four points and two rebounds vs. West Virginia.
"It is going to take some time," Lebo says of Prowell returning to form. "It is just like an injury."