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Jabari Smith: The Legend Begins


toddc
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Jabari Smith's double-double leads No. 22 Auburn over ULM 93-65

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AUBURN, Ala. – With freshman phenom Jabari Smith filling the box score, No. 22 Auburn turned up the intensity in the second half, defeating ULM 93-65 Friday at Auburn Arena.

"Jabari has a very advanced skill set," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. "He's a great jump shooter. It was good to see him get downhill. He's special. He's a great kid. He's a really hard worker and he's going to keep getting better."

In his second Auburn game, Smith scored 23 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, made four steals, blocked two shots and had two assists. 

As Auburn began to pull away in the second half, Smith rebounded a shot blocked by Walker Kessler and drove the length of the floor for a layup, dribbling behind his back at halfcourt to the delight of his teammates and the sold-out crowd.  

"It was natural for me," said Smith, who said he first became confident of his ballhandling in high school. "We love to see each other succeed, getting excited for your teammates. Just because you're on the bench doesn't mean you're out of the game." 

Auburn outscored the Warhawks 56-26 in the second half after trailing 39-37 at intermission.

The Tigers placed four in double figures for the second straight game. K.D. Johnson made 4 of 5 3-pointers and scored 18 points. Chris Moorescored a career-high 16 and Wendell Green Jr. added 15.

"I had a word for myself at the beginning of the season and it was consistency," Moore said. "Coming off the bench giving us the spark we need. I've got to keep playing like that every game. Being level-headed and continuing to make my team better every day." 

Devan Cambridge's offensive rebound and dunk tied the score at 41-41 after Auburn had trailed by four early in the second half.

After Auburn forced a turnover on a shot clock violation, Green passed to Johnson for a 3-pointer that capped a 7-0 run and gave Auburn a 44-41 lead.

Auburn extended its lead to 10 points thanks to Johnson's stepback 3-pointer sandwiched between a pair of old-fashioned 3-point plays by Moore, who scored all but two of his points in the second half.

"The bench picked us up," Pearl said. "K.D. and Chris coming off the bench did a tremendous job, with their physicality at both ends. It's unbelievable when you can bring that firepower off the bench."

Trailing by eight late in the first half after a 10-0 ULM run, Smith hit a pair of free throws and a pair of 3-pointers to pull Auburn within two points at the half. Smith led the Tigers with 11 points and six rebounds in the first half.

Auburn used an early 9-0 run to take a 13-5 lead before the Warhawks outscored the Tigers 21-5 over the next eight and a half minutes to lead 26-18.

The Tigers (2-0) are off until next Friday, Nov. 19, when they travel to Tampa to play South Florida at 6 p.m. CT, a game that will give Auburn an opportunity to become familiar with the venue that will host the 2022 SEC Tournament.
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2 hours ago, toddc said:

Trailing by eight late in the first half after a 10-0 ULM run, Smith hit a pair of free throws and a pair of 3-pointers to pull Auburn within two points at the half. Smith led the Tigers with 11 points and six rebounds in the first half.

It was really an amazing set of possessions. Love that he can play top of the key in a 1-3-1 zone and took the ball up court in transition and hit a pull up 3.

Was really nice

Edited by W.E.D
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1 hour ago, toddc said:

 

I tell you what, that kid is legit. I don't know what the 1, 2, and 3 prospects look like, but Jabari looks like an NBA star waiting to happen.

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