Auburn has had a mostly rough time since falling to the Commodores 75-57 in Nashville on January 12th. After losing to the Dores, the Tigers pulled off stunning home wins over Kentucky and Alabama but have not won since, losing six in a row.
In a bombshell on Friday, leading scorer Kareem Canty left the team for personal reasons. During the loss at Vandy back in January Canty scored 16 points. Three other Tigers have averaged in double figures for Auburn with 6-foot-10 forward Tyler Harris now becoming the team's leading scorer with Canty gone.
Auburn likes to shoot the three. Guard T.J. Lang leads the Tigers in three-point shooting percentage. Two other Tigers are making over 35 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Guard T.J. Dunans is the most accurate from the field.
Looking at some of leaders in other non-scoring stat categories, Harris and guard Cinmeon Bowers are the top rebounders for the Tigers. Bowers also leads the team in steals. Six-foot-9 forward Horace Spencer leads the team in blocked shots.
Comparing Auburn and Vandy statistically, Vandy scores more points, allows fewer points, shoots better in all categories, has more rebounds, assists and blocked shots. Auburn has more steals while Vanderbilt has a stronger RPI.
This is a game Vanderbilt should win, especially without Canty, but as we've seen throughout the season, this doesn't always mean the Dores will come out on top. Auburn has been struggling but four of those recent losses have come on the road.
To win Vandy must not allow Auburn to make more than six three-pointers. Keep in mind that the Tigers have made at least 11 threes in each of their three conference wins. If Vandy can limit the treys and have a solid night of shooting themselves, the Dores win.
Saturday's game tips off at 5 pm central time and can be seen on ESPN2.
For VandyMania.com and Scout, this is Don Yates.