The Auburn Men’s Basketball play their SEC home opener today as they take on the No.21 Mizzou Tigers (12-2) in the Auburn Arena.
Auburn (8-4) will be looking for their first win over a Top 25 opponent since a win over LSU in 2009. That’s quite a drought against ranked teams.
Auburn will lean on the SEC’s leading offensive tandem of Chris Denson and KT Harrell to overcome Missouri’s defensive focus today. Guards Chris Denson (19.8) and KT Harrell (18.7) lead the team in scoring.
Missouri’s strength on both ends of the floor is its trio of 6-5 guards, Clarkson, Brown and Earnest Ross. Rarely does an opposing coach not bring up their length, athleticism and ability to contest shots on the perimeter.
It’s always bitter seeing Earnest Ross in a Mizzou uniform. Ross, an Auburn Tiger initially, was the SEC’s most-improved scorer in 2010-11, elevating his point production from 2.8 points per game as a freshman to 13.1 points as a sophomore. He led the Tigers in scoring 13 times in 2010. The Cary, N.C., native topped the 20-point plateau five times as a second-year player and reached double figures in 22 of 31 games, while making 27 starts as an Auburn Tiger. His transfer to Mizzou, and having to now devise a defensive scheme for Ross as Mizzou’s leading scorer, is still a bitter pill to swallow.
Coming off an emotional game versus Georgia that saw Georgia pull off an OT upset, Mizzou is looking to bounce back against Auburn which it sees as a more favorable matc-up than Georgia. Missouri suffered multiple costly defensive lapses in that game, and will heavily focus on rebounding and defense.
Auburn lost its conference opener Thursday night 65-62 at Mississippi. Auburn went 8-3 on its non-conference schedule, including a 19-point loss on a neutral court to Illinois. Missouri also lost to the Illini on a neutral court, but by only one point.
(Source article: Track Em Tigers/Photo: Spruce Derden, USA Today)