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About JwgreDeux

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  1. Here we are again. A game where Auburn has a great opportunity to take a step forward as a program and to improve our post season resume. We find ourselves a slight (1 point, and several books have as a pickem game) underdog to Arkansas, a top 35 RPI team, at home. A win here would nearly lock in a first round host spot in the NIT. Arkansas plays our style of basketball, but at an even faster pace. They have a nice overall record, but are not as consistent at the record might suggest. While we have had two separate three game losing streaks, Arkansas has two separate spans where they lost 3 out of 4, including a loss at Mizzou. They come in playing good ball, however, winning their last 4. Very similar style of play to Florida, but without as good or as much outside shooting. Statistically they don't jump off the page, and aren't much better than AU across the board. This is a winnable game. We have shown plenty of ability to score, in these opportunity games, we have allowed opposing teams to shatter their season averages, with poor defense. Arky averages 81 a game, so if we allow them to shatter that, we lose, like the Florida game. If we can keep them in that ball park and have a good offensive night, we have a good shot. Vegas has the over/under at 170 for this game for the total amount of points scored, so they too expect a game in the 80's. I would expect to see us go with a smaller lineup, getting shooters and scorers on the floor. Lang will probably play 4 behind Purifoy again, and I would expect Brown to get another start. We have wilted in these games recently, need to man up tonight. War Eagle!
  2. The fact that fans now have any expectation of success speaks to what CBP has done in three seasons. This season has already seen real progress and it isn't over yet. As for JJ, many in the college basketball world thought Barbee was a good hire. It was a miss no doubt, but many would have made that same miss.
  3. Forgot to mention we are a 6 point dog in this one.
  4. Auburn (16-10, 5-8) vs. Texas A&M (13-12, 5-8) Saturday, February 18th 3:00PM CT ESPNU / WatchESPN College Station, TX Well somebody's gotta win this one. Both teams are coming off two losses in a row and are looking to prevent a late season slide. There isn't much to say about our Tigers that hasn't been said to this point in the season. Prior to the Ole Miss game this team was on the verge of serious tourney consideration, so I'm not convinced they are ready to fold up shop. It's important to take a moment and realize that this team has already taken a step forward from last season and created expectations of post season play. That's progress. Nonetheless, of this team isn't able to salvage a postseason appearance, it will be a let down considering where we were two games ago. A&M presents a lot of problems. Davis is a bull in the post and I'm not sure we have anyone who can play that physically without fouling, in order to limit him. Their guard Gilder does it all, scores, facilitates and defends. At 6-4 he may be too big for Brown to guard and could require Heron to guard their best scoring guard. A&M doesn't score as much as we do, but they can score the ball and will present a challenge for our second half matador defense. A couple of other notes. Anyone who is on the coaching staff needs to get some perspective. CBP and CCP know more about high level basketball than any of us ever will. They are both proven. I and others have talked about chemistry and communication issues that all the roster shifting would cause. Low and behold we lose Spencer and our defense dramatically suffers, just when the team seemed to be finding its self. I love the passion that I have seen from the fans wanting to win, but to start calling for heads to roll is misplaced. I saw a tweet from Rod Brambett the other day that said in his 13 years of calling AU basketball this was already the third most wins he has seen. This program was a dumpster fire when CBP took over. A&M is a top 100 RPI team, with our RPI at 72, a win will put us in good position for the lesser postseason tourneys. We improved our turnovers and rebounding vs UF, but the defense was lacking. With our offense the fldefense doesn't have to be great, but the intensity has to come up. I still think this group has some wins left in them, let's get one this afternoon. War Eagle!
  5. Auburn (16-9, 5-7) vs. Florida (20-5, 10-2) Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 6:00PM CT SEC Network / WatchESPN A program that seemed poised to take a big step forward into the NCAA tourney discussion, let a key opportunity slip away over the weekend. Since the Tigers blew a 20+ point lead to lose to Ole Miss on the road, there has been questions about Bruce Pearl, softness of the team and whether we were ever a bubble team to start with. However, at 16-9 (5-7) and with 6 games to go, Auburn certainly has much left to play for. Auburn is currently tied for 8th in the league and 4th is only two games out in front of them. We have seen some over reaction in the past when we let one get away. For me, this loss hurt more than others due to the timing, as we have very little time to make up for this one. Of our remaining games, only 2 opponents are ranked higher than us in the league and we get them both at home (Arkansas and Florida). There are some very winnable games in this stretch and it is crucial to our program to pick up a few and earn some postseason play. The best thing for any postseason resume is beating good teams. We have such an opportunity tonight, as we welcome Florida to the Plains. Florida is a 9.5 favorite, and they deserve to be. They play good offense and good defense,and generally stay within their system and roles. Statistically they have the advantage all over the floor. Their worst statistical category is asst/fg ratio, which is only marginally better than ours. Which means they don't get a lot of assists, compared to the number of overall field goals. The scary thing is they are the best in the country at limiting assits and opposing asst/to margin. Considering we just blew a 20 point second half lead, largely in part to 26 points off of turnovers, I'd say this is a bad match up for us at a bad time. Harper and Johnson will have to play lights out (protecting the ball) for us to have any chance. There is no secret here, we have to be first half Auburn for the full game. Is that achievable, probably not, but it is possible. I wouldn't be surprised to see some runs in this game, good and bad. Florida isn't a perfect team, they are very average in their shooting percentages, it is their defense that is above average, and their defense that wins them games. They have only allowed 80+ points twice all season, back in December, and the lost both games. They held UK to 66 three games ago and Gonzaga to 77 earlier in the year. If we have any shot, we have to be the third team to get into the 80s because our defense is not good enough to hold them under their season average of 79 points per game. So we need to go off on offense, and limit them as much as possible in transition. Win or lose, how we respond to the disappointment of the Ole Miss game is the secondary story-line here. Do we fold up shot and call it a season, be happy we made any bubble projection and call it a good year, or do we rally for a strong finish to the year, get to 20 wins, and some post season play? I think this is a resilient bunch that has shown the ability to bounce back more than once. We have only lost back to back games one time all season, when we started SEC play 0-3. We responded vs TCU after a bad loss to SC, we responded vs bama after a bad loss to UT, it's time to respond again. War Eagle!
  6. Been traveling and just now back where I can really digest the Ole Miss game. 26 points off turnovers, all the fouls, the points in the second half, all point to mental toughness. Can't be surprised that is an issue considering the youth, but it isn't just a young thing. Dunans showed bad judgment most of the game. He was pulling 3s and spotted up several times where he wanted to shoot but didn't get the ball. That isn't his game, his release and motion is not good form and will not produce high percentages, he is a slasher and creator and needs to embrace that role again. Mental toughness affects the abilities to handle all circumstances, when a game goes bad, and when a game goes well. We haven't learned to maintain that intensity/engagement level that is needed. The truly disappointing thing about this game is we were within striking distance of real NCAA consideration. While the road loss to a top 100 team only cost us 8 points in the RPI, now at 66, we just don't have time to make up for loses that should have been wins. I still think this is a post season team, NIT likely, but with this loss we still have work to due there. These crazy kids could turn around a beat UF tonight and really flip the script tough.
  7. Should have included how important a good start is in the road. We have laid a few eggs in this type of game. Can't afford to fall behind early.
  8. This year the Sec is predicted to get as few as 3 and as many as 5. If 3 we have no shot, if 4 we need every win we can get 22 at minimum, if 5 we have more wiggle room. This season seems to be playing out where the bubble will be big and wide and more "snubs" than usual. IMO
  9. The line is out and we are +4 underdog.
  10. Saiz will be a problem due to his experience. In the OP I said he was savvy, and our defenders are primarily freshmen. Wiley has struggled with foul trouble and Saiz will be a tough cover for him. Perhaps Smith gets an opportunity to contribute in defense and allow Wiley and McLemore to play off Saiz.
  11. Auburn RPI 58 vs ole miss RPI 71. A top 100 road win helps the resume, and would likely move us into the top 50 RPI.
  12. Auburn (16-8, 5-6) vs. Ole Miss (14-10, 5-6) Saturday, February 11th, 2017 5:00PM CT SEC Network / WatchESPN Mike Morgan, play-by-play Pat Bradley, analyst The Pavilion at Ole Miss, Oxford, Mississippi Auburn leads the series, 74-58 In Oxford: OM Leads 40-23 Streak: OM, W9 Last Meeting: OM, W 88-85 (1/7/17) With Auburn stringing together back to back SEC wins and looking for a third, the "bubble talk" is getting louder. Ole Miss dropped their most recent game to Tennessee, but won their previous two. They are a capable and dangerous team but this game is more about us than them. Like I wrote the first time we played them, they don't do anything that we can't handle, they aren't overly talented or complex. They aren't big, don't defend particularly well, don't score a whole lot, and don't shoot very good percentages. But they do a bit of everything, and we don't have any glaring statistical advantages. Where our advantage lies, is in our talent level but that has been our challenge as well this season. Finding ways to maximize our talent while minimizing our exposure due to youth. Ole Miss is savvy and will punish youth if we play hesitant. We all saw in the first half of the Mississippi State game how good we can be when locked in. In that same game we gave up 60+ points in the second half. It seems that things are starting to click more often for this Auburn team. The defensive communication has been better, the offensive ball movement is greatly improved, and we have seen very little standing around on offense as of late. If that continues we will be in every game simply due to our ability to score. Burnett and Saiz, guard forward combo, are the heart and sole of Ole Miss. They lead the team in almost every category and play 30+ minutes per game, at 6'2'' and 6'9'', they are not particularly difficult to match up against for AU, but they are savvy. We cannot allow those two to beat us, especially by fouling them, as they are both good FT shooters. We struggled with that at the end of the State game, and don't need a reminder of how that hurts us. Our guards will probably all take turns on Burnett, it will be interesting to see how we guard Saiz, with size or quickness. McLemore could be a good fit here with our best combo of both. In any event we have the fire power to go get this one. We will likely be a small road dog (I'd project us as +3), but most metrics has us as the better team, albeit slightly. This is more of a mental test than a physical one. Ole Miss needs this game badly to keep any NIT hopes alive and with a coach on the hot seat. We must go in there wanting it more. War Eagle!
  13. IS this where I'm supposed to say I told you so?
  14. Nah, weird way to spell "deuce" seemed like a good idea at the time. We can just go with JD.
  15. We are a bubble team already, not doubt about it. Enjoy it. Search for various bracketology sites and find us listed on the outside looking in, but at least considered sections, we are there. We aren't on the right side of that bubble yet, but we are in the discussion. I personally am enjoying it, and encourage others to do it as well. Maybe we fall short this year, but at least in early February we can be part of the fun. USA today, CBS sports, and others have us on the outside looking in, but for as long as I can remember we have been wholly MIA. We have a top 75 SOS that should hold in that range, we have a top 35 non-con RPI that will hold in that range, and are 57 in the overall RPI currently with plenty of chances to improve it. 20+ wins, top 50 RPI is basically a bubble team, some get in some don't. I agree we would benefit greatly from beating FL as we don't have a signature win at this point, but it is not a must win. We can creep in without it due to others lack luster resumes. IF we can beat Ole Miss, we will be in good position.