Tiger Mens Hoops Off to 2-0 SEC Start
Seniors Frankie Sullivan and Rob Chubb led the Tigers in road win over South Carolina.
In case you missed it, the Tigers won their second gut check in a row to open conference play. This time on the road. The team left it all on the floor and came away with a 74-71 defeat of South Carolina. The last I heard the announcers say, there were 12 ties and 27 lead changes throughout the game.
The charge was led by the senior duo of Frankie Sullivan and Rob Chubb. They put down 17 and 16 points respectively with Chubb going 8-9 from the charity stripe and adding 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block. Sullivan chipped in another 4 boards and 2 steals. Freshman Brian Greene Jr. came off the bench for 14 points on 6-6 shooting including two three pointers. On the day Auburn was 58% from the field and 44% beyond the arc.
Chubb was the only bright spot from the line. Most of the team was around 50% on free throws, but Chubb’s effort bolstered the team to 64% on the day. This was truly a team effort with many other players contributing a few points and steals along the way.
The important thing to note is that the Tigers have pulled off these wins with two key contributors out with stress fractures in their feet. Highly touted 6’5″ freshman Jordan Price was averaging 7.2 pts a game and shooting 52.8% from downtown. He also tied an SEC record with 11 consecutive 3’s before going down to injury.
Also missing was junior Chris Denson. Out early in the season due to academic ineligibility, Denson was on a tear for 5 games averaging over 15 points a game before going down with the same injury as Price. Recently we dreaded the ACL injuries which plagued our team. It appears stress fracture has made a move down the stretch!
It is nice to FINALLY see these guys playing complete games. Missed free throws, turnovers, and rebounding could easily have been the story of the day. The Tigers shored up their turnovers from 13 in the first half to only 4 in the second, but a late missed free throw almost cost them the game.
Chubb’s only missed free throw, and subsequent missed rebound, gave South Carolina the ball, down 3, with :15 to go. South Carolina was +10 rebounding on the day with many of those resulting in second chance opportunities to score including the last possession. The shot missed and the 2-0 Tigers now turn their attention to another road game Wednesday night when they travel to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas. The Razorbacks (0-1) are playing Vandy later tonight.
The path doesn’t get any easier for Auburn as they’ll then return to Auburn Arena next Saturday for a prime time match up with defending champion Kentucky and the latest Calipari freshman phenom in 6’10” Nerlens Noel. Keep it up men. The faithful need something to cheer for!
PS- Texas A&M is giving Kentucky everything they want and then some at Rupp Arena. They’re tied at 58 with a little over 6 minutes to go. If the SEC teams continue playing at the level they are today it is going to be an exciting season to watch top to bottom.