The Tolbert Report

By J.M. Comer

“We’ve got to rely on ourselves and our coaches and go in there believing that we can win,” Auburn senior Frank Tolbert said. “There’s nobody out there that really thinks we can this year but us. So that’s what we’re going to roll with” (Evan Woodbery, Mobile Press Register, Jan. 10).

frank-tolbert-4.jpg

Frank Tolbert (far right) rolls with it.

Auburn opens its SEC schedule tonight. And it could get ugly. With a quickness.

I had hope entering this season. And I’ll be watching for something, anything, to cheer about tonight.

ESPN2 gets to document the opening jab in a season of knee-weakening blows at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

Playing with seven scholarship players (thanks to ankle stress, broken left hands, ineligibility, etc.), Auburn’s mostly declawed basketball team opens SEC play against a tall, senior-filled Razorback team. Arkansas was a preseason favorite to win the SEC Western Division, but I wouldn’t count on it now. Ole Miss looks like the real deal to me after hanging with the Tennessee Volunteers last night.

What are our Tigers playing for this year? A place in the NIT? HA! Wocka! Wocka! Wocka!

I guess at this point Auburn is just hoping to show up and play at top form, hoping to catch a few teams on their worst day of the season. Seriously, looking at the horrible string of bad luck the Tigers have endured, they could be one of the worst teams in the SEC. And the SEC is weak, weak, weak this season in basketball.

The first two games are going to be tough: at home against Arkansas tonight and on the road against Florida on Saturday.

Let’s all hope that the Tigers can surprise us and their opponents.

On the flip side

How about those Auburn Tigers on the women’s basketball team heading up to visit the Lady Vols of Tennessee tonight?!

Why isn’t this game on ESPN2?

Nuts to your “It’s women’s basketball, therefore it’s boring” argument.

The women’s game is going to be the fantastic kung-pao appetizer before the disappointing main oatmeal dish later in the evening.

Instead of two unranked SEC mens teams, I would much rather watch No. 2 vs. No. 22 teams fight it out in Thompson-Boling Arena.

It is on Fox Sports Net for you lucky viewers in the Southland.

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