26.Nov.2014 Auburn @ Oregon State
Here is JackBeav’s writeup for the game. 6pm tip on ESPN3
Auburn is in much the same situation OSU is in. Bruce Pearl is in his first year as the head man of a team who returns little experience and was just a middling team last year. They also do not show well away from home. I’ve not been a big fan of Pearl the person since he went and lied about Deon Thomas.
Because of that, Pearl the coach is a very good recruiter. But he’s also a decent hoops coach. So he’s like Lane Kiffin with some occupational skill. Still, I don’t like him.
But enough about him.
Auburn has some skill on the team. KT Harrell is the player to watch in the back court. He doesn’t have a great handle or play good defense. But he can score. He’s a shooter who can’t be left open on the perimeter. And it’s not like he has been proficient from the floor. He’s a volume scorer, and volume scorers can go from 40% shooting to 60% shooting on any given night. Tulsa did a nice job moving him from his perimeter spots, resulting in a 14% night on Monday. OSU is strong against perimeter ball as well. So this does play to our favor.
JUCO transfer Cinmeon Bowers is the steadiest presence on the team. He is a consistent 15/15 player who eats up space and has a soft touch. His feet are surprisingly nifty for being the size of Joe Burton. He will likely get his no matter what the score is.
Jordon Granger is the glue guy at the swing. He has some length and all around game. He’s not called upon for much offense, but he will step outside from time to time.
KC Ross-Miller is the same kid we saw at NMSU. He’s the facilitator of the group who can work against mid-range defenders and get to the line, where he doesn’t miss. His scoring within is timely. But if Auburn is dependent on him for points, OSU will be doing something right. Or if he gets in foul trouble early and faces early pressure D, he can be completely ineffective.
And Jarmal Reid’s high school teammate Tajh Shamsid-Deen will round out the starting five. He’s a diminutive handle who can score in bunches but really hasn’t had a bunch yet. He’ll provide some on-ball pressure, and he will take a lot of shots that remind you he’s still a sophomore. But you will see some athleticism from the kid.
Pearl plays nine in his rotation with two frosh swings in TJ Lang and Aussie Jack Purchase getting about twice the minutes that junior guard Devin Waddell plays. But so far this year senior guard Malcolm Canada is the only player with any real system contribution. Canada is like Ross-Miller in his style of play, but he is a rather stout individual for a guard. If all goes well for OSU tonight, expect to see him on the floor a lot.
The Beavs just had a plain bad shooting night on Monday. But even that doesn’t come close to how poorly Auburn shot the ball. I expect both teams to shoot better tonight. But Auburn could should four times better from the perimeter than they did on Monday, and still it could be called a poor shooting night. With the thin experience and Pearl liking to get out and run, Auburn can find themselves really thin and winded in the second half, expecially if some of their lead guards are forced to play some D. I don’t expect the unexpected freak show of the Auburn offense growing up in one game. This one should be a Beav win somewhere in the range of 70-55.