Kareem Canty was on the move for Auburn against Xavier
By Charles Goldberg
Bruce Pearl and his Auburn basketball team are winging it to Hawaii with hot-shooting Kareem Canty on board, and with a probable change in the lineup in the offing.
Point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen reinjured his shoulder in Saturday's 85-61 loss to Xavier in Cincinnati, forcing Pearl to consider moving T.J. Dunans back to point guard to at least share those duties with Canty, who is otherwise Auburn's shooting guard.
Pearl said he would "figure out where we go from there" before playing New Mexico on Tuesday in the first of three games in the Diamond Head Classic.
Pearl said Shamsid-Deen's latest injury was "just devastating" to the playing rotation. Shamsid-Deen, who had surgery on both shoulders last season and has suffered shoulder injuries three times since preseason practice began.
Canty led Auburn with 25 points on five more 3-pointers, running his totals over the last three games to 74 points and 17 3-pointers. Pearl was looking for help from Canty's teammates.
"We can't win unless we get more contributions from other people," Pearl said on his post-game show on the Auburn broadcast.
No. 10 Xavier improved to 11-0, its best start in school history. Auburn fell to 5-3.
Auburn's problems were told on the stat sheet. Xavier's bench outscored Auburn 32-8. The Musketeers outscored Auburn 24-2 on second-chance points.
"They're big and strong and physical. They're able to move us around a little bit," Pearl said.
"Our young kids played young... against the No. 1 RPI team in the country."
Xavier started fast and barely slowed down, though the Tigers cut the score to 39-30 at the half. But Xavier stretched the lead to 17 in the first six minutes of the second half and led 80-55 with 4:18 to play.
Cinmeon Bowers recorded his fifth double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Dunans scored 10.
Auburn flew from Cincinnati to catch a commerical flight in Nashville that was to take them to Los Angeles on Saturday night. They'll fly from there Sunday morning to Honolulu. The Tigers are scheduled to visit Pearl Harbor on Sunday.
The Auburn-New Mexico tips off at 1:30 p.m. Central time Tuesday on ESPNU.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine