Auburn Tigers: Will the Rebels and Western Division Equal Wins?

Tiger HistalmosAnalyst IJanuary 27, 2010

Auburn has had some struggles to start the conference season.  The Tigers stand 1-4 going into tomorrow's game versus the Ole Miss Rebels.

There has been many, including myself, that have wondered if Auburn will be able to turn the season around before it gets too ugly. 

Well, there is one small ray of hope left for the Tigers.  As mentioned, Auburn is 1-4 in the conference. 

One positive note is that all four of the Tigers' losses have come against Eastern Division opponents. Auburn still has eleven games to play with nine of them against Western Division opponents. 

Auburn has shown glimpses of prosperity in some games.  They had big leads against Tennessee and Vanderbilt.  They almost came back to knock off Kentucky at home. 

One key for Auburn has been shooting from beyond the arc.  If Auburn gets going outside early, it makes the defense respect the perimeter. 

At times, Auburn has been able to utilize the inside game especially when Brendon Knox comes off the bench. 

Auburn's biggest problem has been on defense.  The Tigers are next to last in scoring defense in the SEC.  Ole Miss comes in second in the SEC in scoring offense. 

In my honest opinion, Auburn needs to concentrate more on defense.  Auburn can apply pressure at times, forcing turnovers off of steals. 

The Tigers will have to apply pressure early on to try to get steals and block penetration into the lane. 

Another point I have noticed is that Auburn has not been able to adjust well to opponents changing defenses during the game. 

With Auburn's outside shooting critical for success, it is imperative that they manage to keep the inside game an option when the shots just aren't falling.

Auburn managed to do well on the inside against Vandy in the first half, but halftime adjustments by the Commodores doomed the Tigers in the final stretch. 

It is hard to look for a silver lining in what has been already a difficult conference season. 

If Auburn expects to jump back into the race, it'll have to come with wins against Western Division foes.