Auburn Looks To Turn Things Around At Home
USA TODAY Sports
Auburn is heading back home to take on LSU in what is a must-win matchup for Bruce Pearl’s squad. Sitting at 1–4 in the conference, another loss tonight would put Auburn in quite a hole with the bulk of conference play still to come.
Danjel Purifoy looks to be doubtful tonight, as the freshman forward is still nursing an ankle injury.
“He’s progressed really really well,” Bruce Pearl said during a Tuesday press conference. “He’s actually shooting today a little bit, but he will not practice and I would say he’s doubtful for the game. But I don’t know, I haven’t talked to the trainer yet. He’s getting closer.”
This LSU team is not the same as the one that began the season. Just before SEC play began, the Bayou Bengals dismissed their star power forward, Craig Victor. Coach Pearl pointed out the similarities between LSU and Auburn in the sense that both teams have been forced to change their lineups constantly throughout the season.
“They’ve had some personnel changes that, kind of like us, they’ve had to evolve a little bit. I know their starting power forward was dismissed before the SEC season, so as a result, they’re actually playing two 6–10 guys together a lot, and they’re pretty good. They’re really effective together.”
The combination of Duop Reath and Aaron Epps will prove to be a test for an Auburn team that, even with newcomer Austin Wiley, still lacks height in the front court.
A string of wins starting tonight and continuing through to the South Carolina game next week would certainly be a morale booster for an Auburn team that is in dire need of one. Thus far in conference play, Auburn is 0–2 at home with losses to Georgia and Ole Miss—both of which were very winnable.
If Auburn wants any chance at reaching a postseason tournament, it will be crucial to string together a couple of wins at home this week.
The Tigers will battle it out tonight at 7:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.
Tigers beat LSU 78–74 to give Coach Bruce Pearl his 500th career win.