Friday, August 20, 2010

Around the League: Auburn

Everything is shiny and new at Auburn. New, highly rated coach, Tony Barbee. New offense, the John Calipari-style dribble drive. New arena.

Barbee even garnered commitments from new recruits. Chris Denson, a guard that Coach Fox considered for a time. Josh Langford, a wing that was a UGA recruit. Luke Cothron, high-ranked power forward, and Shawn Kemp, Jr., a center from the metro Atlanta area.

The problem is that Cothron and Kemp have apparently failed to qualify.

My take?

The dribble drive offense may be good, but it needs players to make it work. Barbee doesn't have enough of them.

Auburn's roster was thinned considerably by graduation. Frankie Sullivan and Ty Armstrong, returning players on whom Barbee expected to rely, have both been sidelined with knee injuries, and it is doubtful that either one will return to play this year. Barbee could have done some damage with Cothron and Kemp, but without them, he'll have to convince his team to play tough defense and and hope that they shoot very well from the perimeter.

Auburn will struggle. They went 15 and 17 last year, and won just 6 games in the conference. Maintaining that same record would be a success for Barbee.

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