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Its time to straighten the ship up and get everyone going the same direction!


BHDAU1
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Auburn has everything in front of them right now and it feels like they are letting it slip away.  We do not look like we are going to the right way right now.   We got guys playing that should maybe spending time on the bench, sloppy passing, and the biggest thing I have noticed is the hunger that they showed early in the season.  Every ball they went after, maximum effort at all times.  We got guys complaining to the refs when they dont get a call and they just stand there and not run back on defense and let the other team get easy points.  The "chip on the shoulder" mentality is missing in action right now.  I know we are in the tourney regardless right, but this is a team that could be one of the best of all time in Auburn history and they are letting it slip away to teams they have no business losing to.   This is not what you would call starting to peak at the right time.  I hope Coach Pearl can get this ship righted and start laying down losses on these teams we play by double digits where they should be! 

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I don't know about all that. Auburn won the two ensuing games after Arkansas by double digits. And ask Tennessee how hard it is win at Arkansas. Whom we took into overtime even though there was a 15 shot difference in free throw attempts and 18 point difference in free throws made. Now 17 TOs yesterday is bad but fixable.

Losing at uf should not be a surprise. Road games are so tough against anybody.

If Auburn flops around against OM, then maybe the team is losing focus. But if they remain true to form they will beat OM by double digits.

Edited by SumterAubie
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The home games (or at least the results) are pretty much meaningless to me in deciding where we’re at, I’m desperately hoping that the ball movement from those games finally travels to a road game. We haven’t had a good looking road game since January 11th at the latest. And the one before that, the St Louis one, we didn’t really have any business winning. 
A road game and a neutral game are markedly different, and we’ll be playing in the latter after the next few matchups, but I just want to finally see good habits travel outside of AA. 

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One double OT loss in a neutral site game against a ranked opponent. One OT loss against a ranked opponent. One one-point loss against a good team in a gym we haven’t won in since Cliff Ellis. 

This team’s defense and toughness make us a brutal out. Not once all season have we let someone off the hook and just stopped competing. That’s amazing.

UF is a bad matchup for us because Castleton neutralizes so much of what Kessler does, and their length on the perimeter bothers us. We actually matchup better with UT and their smaller guards. It’ll still be tough to win there, but they won’t bother us as much defensively. 

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2 hours ago, cole256 said:

I just really feel some of you are overreacting

We are not used to being basketball contenders. We just programmed to get depressed after 2-3 losses like our season goals are ruined. …. Football!. We are still a solid 1 seed. 

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22 minutes ago, mcgufcm said:

One double OT loss in a neutral site game against a ranked opponent. One OT loss against a ranked opponent. One one-point loss against a good team in a gym we haven’t won in since Cliff Ellis. 

This team’s defense and toughness make us a brutal out. Not once all season have we let someone off the hook and just stopped competing. That’s amazing.

UF is a bad matchup for us because Castleton neutralizes so much of what Kessler does, and their length on the perimeter bothers us. We actually matchup better with UT and their smaller guards. It’ll still be tough to win there, but they won’t bother us as much defensively. 

I agree with the bigger guards. You do good write ups, maybe you should talk about why this is so.

I also agree with how we aren't complacent and competing consistently on a high level.

I didn't think about the Kessler match up and how that effects the entire team. How you explain it makes so much sense. Great post. 

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5 minutes ago, alexava said:

We are not used to being basketball contenders. We just programmed to get depressed after 2-3 losses like our season goals are ruined. …. Football!. We are still a solid 1 seed. 

I guess so. 

I'm happy to be in a position where we can lose and there's no threat to us missing the tournament. I'll get concerned if we lose and we come out and make a bunch of the same mistakes and it doesn't look like we improved at all. Until then I'm enjoying the ride!

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I don’t think it’s an over reaction Auburn has been winning all season inspite of the poor decision making and lack of three point shooting. Then u have them missing free throws in critical times. The problem it’s getting worse. Look at the games outside of Auburn arena . The last few have been close wins versus bottom feeders or close losses. Surely this can’t be ignored. What’s even more alarming is Jabari isn’t getting the ball when the games on the line. They will make the tournament regardless but a lot of things need to be cleaned up.

In these road games the refs only are becoming an issue because Auburn has been playing sloppy and if the refs aren’t giving them calls it looks bad. If Auburn handle business the ref wouldn’t be a factor. For example yesterday cut down on the turnovers and Auburn probably wins by double digits regardless of the refs

 

Edited by e808
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3 hours ago, cole256 said:

I just really feel some of you are overreacting

Yes, probably including me.  I'm just so bummed about the loss to a bubble team we had already beaten this year.

But I'm open to this being a blip on the radar screen.  Hope it is.

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I definitely think it's an overreaction. People underrate how hard it is to win on the road, and people tend to be harder on their own team. It's easy to see the home/road effect if you look at another team that everyone agrees is a national title contender.

Let's use Kentucky, they are 16-0 at home, and just over .500 on the road (5-4). In true road games, they have dropped games to Duke, LSU, Auburn and Tennessee. Outside of the Kansas game (which might be the best performance by any team in a single game all year), they have wins over South Carolina, Bama, TAMU, and Vandy. Looking at the Tennessee home/away split shows the impact of the home/road thing. They beat UT by 28 at home; they lost by 13 (and trailed by 20) on the road. That's life on the road. UK is likely to lose at least one more this year because they have road trips to Arkansas and Florida ahead. 

Auburn and Kentucky are the only teams in the SEC with winning road records this year. That's it. There are three teams with unbeaten records at home (Auburn, UK, and UT) and one more (Arkansas) with only one home loss all season... a weird 1-pont loss to Vandy.

There are no road games in the tournament. The fact that we're in every game is a bigger deal than whether we lost two one possession games on the road.

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The team is regressing. Imo Arkansas and Florida are not better teams than Alabama. Bama had 24 turnovers against Arkansas and still won let that sink in. If Auburn played even remotely similar at Arkansas and at Florida like Bama they win going away. All of the losses resemble the same issues. The season is almost over. At some point u are who u are. Again with the game on the line Jabari should touch the ball

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We were tied 77-77 with 58 second remaining at Bama. The only difference between that game and Arkansas or Florida is that we got late game stops and hit FTs. Hell, expand that to include UGA and Mizzou. We trailed by two inside a minute in Athens... got a bucket, a stop, and a bucket to win. We trailed by one inside two minutes in Columbia... hoop plus the foul, steal, bucket to all but put the game away.

If Wendell hits a three in Fayetteville or finds an angle on the pass to Kessler in Gainesville, those games go in the same bucket as Tuscaloosa.

The team isn't regressing. If anything, they look like they are starting to play better after a (typical) late January/early February lull. We went into a team-wide shooting slump, but we're shooting 44.4% from three as a team over the last two games. We also shot 82.6% from the FT line (on 46 attempts) as a team over the same two games. That's encouraging. The only issue I actually see is taking care of the ball. Green had seven turnovers against Arkansas; Jabari had four turnovers against A&M; Flanigan had six turnovers against Vandy; and KD had five turnovers against UF. Those are tough numbers and coming from different guys each night.

If we value the ball better collectively, everything else is fine. Making teams operate against our halfcourt defense basically means we win.

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16 minutes ago, mcgufcm said:

We were tied 77-77 with 58 second remaining at Bama. The only difference between that game and Arkansas or Florida is that we got late game stops and hit FTs. Hell, expand that to include UGA and Mizzou. We trailed by two inside a minute in Athens... got a bucket, a stop, and a bucket to win. We trailed by one inside two minutes in Columbia... hoop plus the foul, steal, bucket to all but put the game away.

If Wendell hits a three in Fayetteville or finds an angle on the pass to Kessler in Gainesville, those games go in the same bucket as Tuscaloosa.

The team isn't regressing. If anything, they look like they are starting to play better after a (typical) late January/early February lull. We went into a team-wide shooting slump, but we're shooting 44.4% from three as a team over the last two games. We also shot 82.6% from the FT line (on 46 attempts) as a team over the same two games. That's encouraging. The only issue I actually see is taking care of the ball. Green had seven turnovers against Arkansas; Jabari had four turnovers against A&M; Flanigan had six turnovers against Vandy; and KD had five turnovers against UF. Those are tough numbers and coming from different guys each night.

If we value the ball better collectively, everything else is fine. Making teams operate against our halfcourt defense basically means we win.

How is the team playing better and the three point percentage is skewed because of Jabari. The team isn’t playing as well like earlier in the season. Just need to tweak a few things. Like someone said they will probably beat Ole Miss but it won’t be pretty. 
 

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47 minutes ago, e808 said:

Again with the game on the line Jabari should touch the ball

Yeah, obviously have to have a better idea for that play at the end there. 

Otherwise I agree with McGuf.

The biggest thing that jumps out at me is that Jabari seems to be unlocked now. Fantastic timing. I can't believe we get to go into March with this kind of confidence. 

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The issue to me has been our recent guard play. Either teams have figured out how to defend them or they’ve simply regressed. Turn overs, bad shot choices, can’t hit 3s, sometimes total chaos. We made the final 4 in ‘19 because of our guards, this year it might be in spite of them.

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No one makes the Final Four in spite of their guard play. We won't be an exception. We don't need those guys to carry the scoring load, but if they don't play well, we'll get beat in the tournament.

I continue to say, it's just protecting the ball. Our defensive intensity is the calling card with Zep, Flanigan, and KD on the ball with Kessler, Smith, and Cardwell on the backline. We're finding better ways to get the ball in Jabari's hands, but late clock, he's not a creator. If we get him the ball too early in the clock, they're just going to double the ball out of his hands. At this point in his development, he's not a good enough ball handler to run the pick and roll game so that's a nonstarter. If you go to the iso on the nail like the Mavs did with Dirk, #1 you need immaculate floor spacing and #2 you need Jabari to be a better passer than we've seen to this point. He's unbelievable, but playmaking out of that elbow post takes reps. It took Dirk a decade to perfect it.

We are better off running the high screen with Wen and Kessler with Jabari on the weak side. If his man comes unglued, it's an automatic feed to your best player. If he doesn't, there will be space for Kessler on the roll (as there was at UF). The execution was just a liiiiiittle off. I'm glad we're getting late game, crunch time reps to work those reads out. It almost doesn't matter what the outcome is. 

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Auburn has flaws. So does everyone else. For a while, it looked like we could beat teams even without our A game. Everyone just has to accept that like all the other top teams, we are going to have to play well to win in the big tournament.  I'd like it to be easy, but that's just not realistic. Jabari is showing he can take over a game, which is coming at the right time. But the other guys will have to execute as well.  The good thing is that close losses tend to cause some serious soul-searching in a way that close wins do not.  I still think this is the best team in the country. We only have 3 losses, all close, and the only two teams with 2 losses have weaker schedules.  I feel good about our chances, but you have to peak at tournament time. That's how it always is.  Tennessee has become a very big game, and that's good. We need to respond to pressure situations.

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3 hours ago, mcgufcm said:

We were tied 77-77 with 58 second remaining at Bama. The only difference between that game and Arkansas or Florida is that we got late game stops and hit FTs. Hell, expand that to include UGA and Mizzou. We trailed by two inside a minute in Athens... got a bucket, a stop, and a bucket to win. We trailed by one inside two minutes in Columbia... hoop plus the foul, steal, bucket to all but put the game away.

If Wendell hits a three in Fayetteville or finds an angle on the pass to Kessler in Gainesville, those games go in the same bucket as Tuscaloosa.

The team isn't regressing. If anything, they look like they are starting to play better after a (typical) late January/early February lull. We went into a team-wide shooting slump, but we're shooting 44.4% from three as a team over the last two games. We also shot 82.6% from the FT line (on 46 attempts) as a team over the same two games. That's encouraging. The only issue I actually see is taking care of the ball. Green had seven turnovers against Arkansas; Jabari had four turnovers against A&M; Flanigan had six turnovers against Vandy; and KD had five turnovers against UF. Those are tough numbers and coming from different guys each night.

If we value the ball better collectively, everything else is fine. Making teams operate against our halfcourt defense basically means we win.

Great post

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I respectfully disagree with the last two games break down because it’s one road game and one home game. We all know Auburn is a vastly different team at home. I am curious to know the number of the last two road games. U could actually make it 4 and those numbers would be pretty different.  Sometimes we have to look at it for what it is. I think one of the most impressive road wins this year was Kentucky smoking Kansas on the road. How many are confident that Auburn could do that right now. 

I just hope Auburn gets better from 3 and cut down on the turnovers. The last two games Jabari has been the only one hitting them with regularity 

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We sure can win and have won while not playing our "A"  game, but the way we are losing is tough on fans. KD for example had two wild overthrows and a double dribble at one point in the game. A big momentum killer. Shooting, rebounding, and excessive fouls is one thing (or three), but sloppy turnovers is another. And a loss to UT would be easier for most fans to accept than one to UF but not now. Let's move on.

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1 hour ago, e808 said:

I respectfully disagree with the last two games break down because it’s one road game and one home game. We all know Auburn is a vastly different team at home. I am curious to know the number of the last two road games. U could actually make it 4 and those numbers would be pretty different.  Sometimes we have to look at it for what it is. I think one of the most impressive road wins this year was Kentucky smoking Kansas on the road. How many are confident that Auburn could do that right now. 

I just hope Auburn gets better from 3 and cut down on the turnovers. The last two games Jabari has been the only one hitting them with regularity 

I guess I don't know what you mean "with regularity." Against Vandy, Wen and KD were a combined 3 for 7 from three. The non-Jabari players on the team were 4 for 12 (33%); the guards were 4 for 10. That's a good night from deep. Against UF, Wen and KD had rough nights. 0 for 8. Only four guys took a three, and Smith/Kessler were a combined 5 for 6. I'll bet both guards look better against Ole Miss.

BUT, agree to disagree. Only time will tell who is right. I think we're fine. I think the team is coming out of a slump, and the offensive guard play will be good. Not great but good with "great" coming on the defensive end and in the front court's offense.

Edited by mcgufcm
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