It's Tigers Vs. Tide Time in Auburn

A preview of the Auburn vs. Alabama men's basketball game is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--With road games on the schedule next week, Jeff Lebo's Auburn Tigers are in desperate need of a victory as they take on visiting Alabama on Saturday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Tipoff time is set for 1 p.m. CST as the 10-6 Tigers face the 11-5 Tide.

Auburn is 0-2 in the SEC with a 68-56 road loss to South Carolina and a Wednesday night 68-65 homecourt setback to Florida. Next week the Tigers must travel to Kentucky and Arkansas and need to build momentum and confidence for those trips in addition to getting their first conference win.

Alabama is 1-1 in the league after defeating LSU 65-59 in the opener and falling at Mississippi State 83-74 on Wednesday night.

The Tide is expected to play without Ronald Steele, the team's third-leading scorer at 12.9 points per game. The senior is listed as out of action with a foot problem.

"He is a very good player," Lebo says. "He is their best outside shooter and their best free throw shooter. He is the leader of their team. He is like the rock. I think when you have him they feel--the rest of their guys--feel more comfortable when he is out on the floor so obviously not having him will make them a little bit of a different team."

Alonzo Gee, a 6-6, 219 senior guard, leads Alabama in scoring at 14.5 points per game and rebounding at 7.6 per contest.

Senario Hillman, a 6-1, 188 sophomore guard, is averaging 12.9 points per game for Coach Mark Gottfried's Tide.

Freshman JaMychal Green, a 6-9, 225 forward, is averaging 8.6 points and 7.0 rebounds. Justin Knox, a 6-9, 236 sophomore forward, is scoring 5.4 points per game and averaging 5.2 rebounds.

Ronald Steele

With Steele sidelined, 6-5, 210 junior Mikhail Torrance will be counted on to help with the scoring. He came off the bench to score 20 points vs. Mississippi State and is averaging 6.8 points and 0.9 assists per game. "When his name was called he played very, very well," Lebo said of Torrance's performance vs. Mississippi State.

Auburn is led in scoring by junior guard DeWayne Reed at 13.1 points per contest. He is averaging 3.8 assists.

Senior forward Korvotney Barber is Auburn's number one rebounder with 8.7 per game and is number two in scoring at 12.6 points per contest.

Auburn has won three of the last four matchups vs. the Tide including the last meeting, an 88-76 decision last season as Lucas Hargrove had a huge game scoring 28 points with six rebounds, two blocks, two steals, three assists and no turnovers. Hargrove is averaging 8.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season as a junior.

Lucas Hargrove could be a key player for the Tigers on Saturday.

The Tigers got 22 points from Quan Prowell in that last matchup vs. Alabama and 10 apiece from Rasheem Barrett and Frank Tolbert. Prowell and Tolbert were seniors last season, but Barrett is back and is coming off his season-high scoring game with 15 points vs. Florida.

Lebo notes that Barrett, who was injured in the pre-conference portion of the schedule, is getting closer to full speed. "He put the ball on the floor for us and got to the mid-point and made some key jump shots off the bounce," the coach notes.

"We are playing him some at the three and four," Lebo adds. "We need his scoring...we will need his consistent scoring in this league. I am still thinking shape-wise he is getting a little fatigued here and there because he missed so much time, but he is slowly getting back into form."

Lebo says consistency has been a problem for his team, particularly with his perimeter players. "We are trying to get everybody to play well on a particular night, but first we have got to get maybe two or three playing well on a particular night. That would be helpful. We have had one guy play well or one guy play okay. We haven't had like three guys in the backcourt that have played outstanding on a particular night."

There is no television for the contest that will be carried on the Auburn Radio Network including XM Radio channel 200.

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