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Pearl says his Auburn Tigers will be tested by veteran TSU team


AUBURN, Alabama–Auburn will look to stay on the positive side of .500 as the Tigers begin a four-gamebasketball homestand with a Tuesday contest vs. Texas Southern. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CST at Auburn Arena.

Auburn comes into the contest with a 3-2 record following a 74-71 victory on Saturday in Atlanta vs. Memphis. Texas Southern is 2-3 with a road win at Wyoming (76-74) and a 103-60 home victory vs LeTourneau. TSU lost 56-52 at Washington State, 85-65 at Oklahoma State and 82-70 vs. St. Mary’s.

The game can be viewed on-line at SEC+.

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl predicted that his youthful squad will be tested by the visiting Tigers from Houston, Tex., with that team’s combination of athletic ability and depth. “They are good,” said Pearl. “I will give you an example. So they have got three guys returning that are picked all-conference and they have eight Division I transfers. The three guys who are picked all-conference are really good players on their team, but they are not in their top maybe four so that tells you just how talented they are.”

TSU is coached by Johnny Jones,  the former head coach at LSU. According to Pearl, Jones has assembled a group with SEC level talent featuring 6-3 senior point guard Michael Weathers, a transfer from Oklahoma State, who is averaging 14.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. John Walker, a 6-9, 200 forward who transferred from Texas A&M, scored 35 points and pulled in seven rebounds in TSU’s previous game.

Galen Alexander, a 6-6, 220 senior forward transfer from Georgetown, is averaging 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds. “He shot 44 percent from three at Georgetown,” Pearl said. “He is probably their most talented player. He is one of those guys that is a fun-to-watch guy from a standpoint of our crowd will recognize that he is a high-level talent.”

A pair of guards, Justin Powell and sophomore Allen Flanigan, sparked Auburn’s victory vs. Memphis. Powell earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after scoring a game-high 26 points vs. Memphis while adding a team-high eight rebounds. Flanigan scored 16 points while adding four rebounds.


9505165.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs Allen Flanigan is shown in action during his freshman season. (Photo: Adam Sparks / Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)


Sophomore Jaylin Williams contributed a collegiate-high eight assists vs. Memphis. He scored six points while adding three rebounds.

Powell leads the Tigers in scoring at 16.8 points per game and is the top rebounder at 6.4. Flanigan is the No. 2 scorer at 13.0 points per game and is averaging 4.6 rebounds. Williams is the No. 3 scorer at 9.0 points per game and the No. 2 rebounder at 5.6.

“I think those three guys have begun to create some separation,” Pearl said. “With the exception of maybe Justin, you wouldn’t be surprised by Allen or Jaylin. They are two of our more experienced guys from a year ago, and that’s good. Now the question is can they be consistent and then can a couple other guys (step up)?

“I am more confident that a couple other guys will be able to step up,” Pearl added. “Justin Powell, he led us in scoring, he led us in our three-point shooting, he led us in rebounding. He just was really, really solid in so many ways. He has got some real good versatility. He has worked hard defensively.”

Commenting on Flanigan, the only returning player who started a game last season for the Tigers, Pearl said, “I thought Al’s calm with the ball, his ability to get in the lane, play off two feet, make plays for himself and others, not afraid of the moment late...

“Jaylin Williams is a tough cover,” the coach added. “We are playing Jaylin at center and power forward, and he is giving away some size and some strength. We do need to be a more physical team, and while it makes us a little better offensively having Jaylin out there at the five (center), we get real small when he’s out there at the five.”

Memphis finished its game with Auburn plus 10 in rebounding margin, which dropped AU’s average to plus 2.8 per contest.

Jamal Johnson is averaging 8.4 points in a reserve role while starters Devan Cambridge and JT Thor are next in scoring at 7.8 and 7.6 per points per contest.

Auburn Hoops Notes:

*Powell is the only player in college basketball this season to have a game with at least 25 points and eight rebounds and another game with at least 25 points and nine assists.

*Javon Franklin, a reserve forward, contributed four rebounds and two points in less than five minutes vs. Memphis. Pearl said the junior, who has been recovering from a broken fibula suffered prior to arriving at Auburn last season, is making progress.

“The whole idea about playing 11 (vs. Memphis) was getting Javon a couple rotations, and I thought he gave us great energy and sparked us,” said Pearl, who praised Franklin’s defense.

“Javon has got some young guys in front of him that are going to be really good. Javon might be as good as them right now. There is a chance there are times he’s better because he’s a little bit older so we have to balance giving those guys the reps they need to grow and getting him out there because he’s earned the right to be out there. He got a little banged up in the last game so he missed practice yesterday. We’ll see how he is heading into the game.”

*The Tigers are 3-0 against Texas Southern and 23-0 against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, but they had a close call in Pearl’s first season at AU as his team won 61-60 Texas Southern. Pearl is 4-2 in games coached vs. Johnny Jones with Pearl at Auburn and Jones at LSU.

*Auburn has won 30 consecutive home non-conference games.


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Just now, Zeek said:

TS sinks a 3

AU 2 - TS 3

Powell gets fouled for 3 (the TS #20 already has 2 fouls)

Pardon me, Powell only had 2 on the free throws

AU 4 - TS 3

Just turned it over and they run straight to an unguarded dunk

AU 4 - TS 5

We respond with 2

AU 6 - TS 5

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Just now, Zeek said:

Thor gets a block that isn't called goal tending.

Immediately take it down the court

Flany hits a wide open 3

TS responds with a 3 of their own

AU 14 TS 8 after a Thor dunk

Auburn with an UGLY series and it's now AU 14 TS 12 with free throws for TS coming

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1 minute ago, tgrogan21 said:

Also love how this game was advertised to be on ESPN+ but it's definitely not. Glad I have other ways to watch it.

I'm watching it using the ESPN+ app on my TV it's just on the SECN+

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  • ellitor changed the title to Men vs Texas State

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