Tigers Still Missing Boddie

Auburn, Ala.--There is a possibility that suspended junior point guard Whitney Boddie could return to the Auburn women's basketball team this season, but it won't happen in time for Thursday night's SEC opener vs. Tennessee.

Nell Fortner, head coach of the Tigers, said on Tuesday that her team will take on the No. 2 Lady Vols with freshman Alli Smalley handling the point guard role.

"She is still academically suspended and will remain so until there is a definitive answer," Fortner said.

Freshman Alli Smalley will continue to handle the starting point guard role for the 22nd-ranked Tigers, who have lost their last two games by two points each without Boddie available.

Boddie averaged 28.2 minutes per game of action in her 11 starts and averaged 10.6 points with a 2-1 assists to turnover ratio. She also averaged 6.4 rebounds per game.

Smalley has played in every game for the 12-3 Tigers with two starts. She is averaging 11 points and 2.7 rebounds and has 38 assists and 38 turnovers.

Alli Smalley

"She has responded well since she has been put into the starting role at the point," Fortner says. "I would be concerned if I had Whitney at the point because they (Tennessee) are just a very tough defensive team. We are preparing Alli as well as we can for that type of pressure and that type of setting. I am pleased with how Alli Smalley has been playing and I expect her to step up and really compete hard in Knoxville."

Tennessee is 11-1 coming into Thursday night's SEC opener for both teams. The Lady Vols feature four returning starters from last year's national championship team including 6-4 junior Candace Parker, who is averaging 21.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

"They are definitely one of the best two teams in the country--them and Connecticut," Fortner says of the Lady Vols. "They are just extremely talented. There are a lot of things we are working on now to go in there and play them. We know we have a tough battle on our hands."

Tipoff for the game is 6 p.m. Central from Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville and it will be televised regionally on Fox Sports South.

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