By J.M. Comer
The Auburn Tigers might have lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 76-70, last night, but I saw some promising things displayed on the court: Heart. Guts. (Isn’t “grit” part of the human body? I’m pretty sure the grit is near the gall bladder?) And a missed opportunity.
And horrible looking free white T-shirts in the stands for the “white out” (lame, lame, lame). Did they even say “Auburn” on them anywhere? I couldn’t tell. All I know is that “U.S. Army” was prominently displayed on the back of the shirts. It was hard to miss that.
Wow. Hats off to our Auburn Tigers basketball team. (The women’s team … not so much. I was mistaken calling that one a “game.” Did I use the adjective “kung-pao”? TWER regrets the error.)
The men of Auburn won the rebound battle against a much taller, more rested hog opponent. The Tigers were busting hump all over the court last night. If they could have kept up the shooting streak they enjoyed the opening minutes, our Tigers might have won this game with a cushion.
But I drew a troubling conclusion at half-time: The smart coach on a team with the deeper bench will rotate players in and out of the game and wear the Tigers down every time. We’ll be seeing it a lot this year I’m sure.
That’s what happened last night. And Coach Jeff Lebo pegged it after the game. Those long, open baskets for the Tigers were not falling probably because of tired legs.
“Anyone who has played basketball before knows shooting begins below the waist,” Coach Lebo said. “Quan Prowell is one of our best shooters, but battling inside may be affecting his shooting. Arkansas shot the ball extremely well, finishing the game shooting 57 percent from the field. We were still able to stay in the game.”
While the Tigers’ shooting percentage dropped 10 percent in the second half, Arkansas’ jumped by almost 10 percent.
Arkansas had eight guys in the game with 10+ minutes of game time. Only two guys played more than 30 minutes total. Points from the bench: 20.
Auburn on the other hand, had seven guys in the game. Four Tigers were in for 30+ minutes (Quan Prowell, 31 minutes; DeWayne Reed, 40 minutes; Rasheem Barrett, 38 minutes; Quantez Robertson, 38 minutes). Points from the bench: 10.
But there was hustle. And I love watching hustle on the court. And by God, I’m rolling with Luke Hargrove. Dude came off the bench for 6 rebounds, a blocked shot and 10 points and was running up and down the court. He’s my guy.
Luke Hargrove, elevated over Hogs and their muck.
Auburn’s next game is in Gainesville this Saturday. There will be televised Raycom Sports coverage at 11 a.m. CST for those in watching in Alabama.
Those outside of the South can watch it on ESPN360.com if Verizon is your Internet provider (that’s how I’m able to watch Auburn games in the mid-Atlantic).
Recipe! (Look for LSU corndog recipe next week.)
Farm raised gator
Butter or Italian dressing
Blackened Seasoning mix
Cut gator crosswise in half.( You want a fillet about ½ inch thick). Dip fillet in butter or dressing to coat. Then sprinkle both sides evenly with mix. Cook on white hot skillet until done, approx. 2-3 mins each side until crispy. Serve with lemon or butter if desired.