Auburn Tigers Preview - Holiday Hoopsgiving
Date: Saturday, December 11th
Time: 10:30am CST
Location: Atlanta, GA
How to Listen/Watch: ESPN2, Husker Radio Network, WatchESPN
Record: 7-1 (0-0 ACC)
Coach: Bruce Pearl (8th Season)
The Huskers head down south to take on the Auburn Tigers in the Holiday Hoopsgiving Tournament. This is a four game tournament in Atlanta to celebrate the holiday season and the proceeds will go to charities. Or, that’s what I have come to the conclusion it is for. The website for it gives little information on the background of the event.
Auburn is coming in at #18 in the nation with a 7-1 record. Their lone loss was to current #18 UConn in double overtime back on November 24th. Outside of that none of their wins have been overly impressive outside of a win against a 5-4 Syracuse squad. However, there is plenty of talent on this team to make some noise in the SEC this year. A weak non conference slate should not cloud that.
One BIG note I might add to this preview. Head Coach Bruce Pearl will not be at the game for Auburn. He has been suspended for two games by the NCAA for failing to monitor his assistants regarding former associate head coach Chuck Person.
The NCAA found that Person violated ethical conduct rules by accepting $91,500 in bribes to steer prospects Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy to Auburn back in 2017.
I would drop and SEC joke right now but I will leave that up to you all to do so in the comments section below.
Like I stated above, this is a fairly good team the Huskers will face on Saturday. They’re aggressive and are known to attack the basket for rebounds.
The Tigers are lead by freshman standout Jabari Smith. Jabari is a five star recruit out of Georgia. The 6’10” forward had been a major contributor to Auburns early success this season. He’s averaging 16.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 46% from the floor and 48% from beyond the arch. He is a highly talented player the will push even the best the Huskers have to face against him.
Next to Jabari is K.D. Johnson. He is a small guard at 6’0” but has been key to this team since the first game. K.D. averages 15.5 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. He had a season high of 27 points in the overtime loss to UConn.
Also of note is guard Wendell Green Jr who is averaging 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. Not too bad for a player who is 5’11” and 175lbs.
Nebraska will have its hands full this game. Not just with the talent that Auburn brings but also injuries and a flu bug that has hit the team. Next to Trey McGowan being out the Husker now have Wilhelm Breidenbach out for a few weeks with a knee injury.
Multiple Huskers have been bogged down by flu bugs this past week. That includes Bryce McGowan, Derrick Walker, and Quaran McPherson. Luckily none of the players have been brought down by COVID-19.
Even with some of those players feeling better, it still takes time to recover from the flu. Hopefully they will be up to the task on Saturday or this might be another long game for the Huskers.