Florida/Auburn Scouting Report

Florida basketball heads into their matchup against Auburn with an excellent chance of improving to 2-0 in SEC play this season. They'll be facing a Tiger team which has lost its last ten games against foes from the Eastern division, and Billy Donovan is 4-0 against Jeff Lebo as a head coach.

This year's Auburn squad is again in the model of Lebo's recent teams, featuring little size and a reliance on perimeter shooting to win games.

What interior presence Auburn does have basically begins and ends with No. 1 Korvotney Barber. The senior averages 12.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, and grabbed 18 rebounds in the Tigers SEC opener against South Carolina. Barber has little range away from the basket, as his 44 percent career free throw shooting attests, and most of his points will come off of his rebounding.

Auburn frequently will play four guards at once, but when there are two forwards on the court the other player is typically No. 4 Lucas Hargrove. He averages eight points and just under six rebounds per game. Auburn coach Jeff Lebo acknowledges that Hargrove struggles defensively attempting to guard athletic front court players, so there may be an oportunity for Alex Tyus to have success against him if they match up.

Auburn's 342 three point attempts leads the conference thus far, with them hitting at a less than imposing 32 percent clip. Their top long range threat is No. 24 Tay Waller. 119 of the junior's 150 shots this season have been from behind the arc, and his 35 percent success rate leads the team. Florida coach Billy Donovan is well aware of the need to contain Waller.

"He's had games where he's taken over ten threes in a game. He can change the game from behind the three-point line. He's got the green light and has great range. He's extremely fast and quick. That's going to be a real challenge for our perimeter."

Junior combo guard No. 12 DeWayne Reed is currently Auburn's leading scorer (although he, Barber and Waller are all within a point of each other). Senior No. 23 Quantez Robertson runs the point. Each is steady but unspectacular on the offensive end. Turnovers are an issue for the Tigers, with them averaging over fifteen per game and committing 24 in their SEC opener. Auburn will make lazy passes around the arc at times, meaning there will be steal opportunities for Florida to attempt to take advantage of.

Depth could be an issue for Auburn against Florida depending on the status of reserve forward Johnnie Lett. Lett has averaged fourteen minutes per game this season but had to sit out Auburn's last game due to an academic issue. It's not clear whether he will be available play against the Gators. Without Lett, the Tigers had just seven players for the vast majority of their minutes played against South Carolina. According to Reed, Auburn players tired in the second half of that game because of the unusually high minutes they were having to play.

At their defensive end of the floor, Auburn will mix things up and challenge the Florida players to make good decisions. Sometimes they trap, other times they'll use a 2-3 zone. Keeping Barber from dominating on the glass will be a major issue for the Gators after bringing in just four offensive rebounds last game.


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