No Bruce, no problem. Tigers trample on dehullers in Atlanta
ATLANTA, GEORGIA (EETV) After the NCAA announced sanctions against Auburn’s basketball program on Friday afternoon, Bruce Pearl’s team faced an unusual challenge when they appeared for the 2021 part of the Holiday Hoopsgiving storefront at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. While the team probably don’t want to continue without their coach for more than the required two games, Saturday’s 99-68 victory over Nebraska was a testament to the team’s skill.
From the start of the competition, it was clear that the word belonged to Jabari Smith, an outstanding freshman – and apparently certain NBA lottery pick – Jabari Smith. After the opening announcement, the Tigers fed Smith who knocked over the first bucket of the contest and didn’t slow down.
The 6-foot-10 freshman scored 12 points in the first half; his teammates feasted on the spark he provided, shooting 39.5% from the field, 41.2% from beyond the arc, forcing the Huskers to make 11 turnovers and build a remarkable lead. of 17 points.
The Orange and Blue headed for the locker room at half-time, leading their opponent 45-28 and returned to the pitch for the final 20 minutes of regulation with the same energy they had left.
Auburn was – again – first on the board via a perimeter shot from Smith’s hands; The second half wasn’t his own, however, as second-year guard Wendell Green Jr. introduced himself to basketball fans in Atlanta.
Just when the Huskers managed to reduce the Tigers’ lead to just 14, Green decided it was his turn to take over. The EKU transfer knocked down a three-deep threesome, propelling the Tigers to the lead by over 20 points and forcing the Huskers into a red and white hole that ultimately proved insurmountable.
Green was pleased with his 19 point performance in the contest.
“I think I played pretty well,” said Green. “I limited my turnovers today by just trying to be more consistent with my jumpshot.”
The sophomore accredits his improvement and confidence in the field to continue shooting from a distance thanks to his teammate’s belief in his abilities.
“I just know my teammates believe in me,” Green said. “Once I hit one, I can hit three, four, or five.”
While the emerging star is proud of his own performance, he also highlighted his team’s ability to get the job done in Pearl’s absence and mentioned his enthusiasm for interim coach Wes Flanigan.
“It was great to see someone else’s success,” Green said. “It’s great to see someone else being happy. He let us play like BP would.
Smith, Green and the rest of the Tigers will be back in action Tuesday night when the Orange and Blue host the University of North Alabama Arena in Auburn at 8:00 p.m. CST. Steven Pearl will be the team’s second interim coach in as many games.