Three Things You Need to Know: Alabama vs. Auburn Hoops
Alabama and Auburn are set for their first of two games this season with the Crimson Tide traveling to Auburn Arena for a 7 PM tipoff.
While Alabama has a comfortable 95-63 advantage in the all-time series, Auburn holds a 31-27 series lead in games played at Auburn.
For both teams, a win would go a long way toward enhancing their resumes toward the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to tipoff, find out the three things you need to know about Alabama-Auburn Part I on the hardwood for 2018-2019.
The Three Point Shot
The clear strength for Bruce Pearl's Auburn Tigers is the three point shot. The Tigers are among the best, if not the best, teams in terms of volume threes in college basketball.
They rank atop the Southeastern Conference in three point makes per game (11.1) and three point attempts per game (30.3).
Highlighting the three-point barrage this season is senior guard Bryce Brown. The Stone Mountain, Georgia, native leads the conference with 3.6 three pointers per game and 8.9 three point attempts per game.
Brown is also fifth in the SEC averaging 16.8 points per game.
In their three most recent wins over Alabama, Auburn has lit it up from the perimeter by swishing home 35 three point shots.
Auburn's Scoring Defense
Although Auburn held Missouri to 58 points Wednesday night, scoring defense has been an issue in recent games.
Prior to their win over Missouri, the orange and blue Tigers allowed 80 points or more in losses to Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
Over the course of the season, Auburn has allowed 68.8 points per game, the stark contrast shows up in their wins and losses.
In their 14 wins, the Tigers have surrendered just 63,1 points per game while allowing 82 points per game in their six losses.
Rebounding a Key to Victory
One of the primary keys for the game could be on the glass.
The Tigers outrebound opponents by an average of 3.7 rebounds per game but have had rebounding issues in their losses.
In their 14 wins, Auburn has outrebounded opponents by 6.6 board per game while getting outrebounded by 3.2 rebounds per game in their six losses.
During his weekly visit on Inside the Locker Room, Auburn Sports Network analyst and former Auburn head basketball coach Sonny Smith explained how their defensive rebounding could determine how successful the Tigers are down the stretch of the regular season.
"The big thing is do they rebound defensively? That's one of their biggest weaknesses and when they rebound defensively, that means all five guys rebounding, they're a really, really good team." Smith said.
For his key to the game, the former Auburn head coach believes it comes down to rebounding.
"I think the key to this game could be the team that rebounds defensively the best will win the game." Smith said.