Auburn's Bryce Brown looks to continue his red-hot shooting against unbeaten South Carolina
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Bryce Brown has gone from a guy off the Auburn bench to a player whose figures to be a hot topic in everybody's scouting report for the foreseeable future.
Such is the price you pay when you have back-to-back 20-point games with a jillion 3-pointers.
"Coaches have told me I'll be getting more of a scouting report," said the Auburn guard. "Everybody knows I can shoot the ball now, so my job now is to either pull up for a mid-range jump shot or pump fake, take it to the basket, find a teammate."
He'll be looking to do those things against undefeated South Carolina at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Auburn Arena where his playing time figures to stay steady since the Tigers are thin at the guard position. Coach Bruce Pearl said Monday that New Williams is out with a lingering knee injury, joining fellow guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen and T.J. Dunans on the disabled list. Another guard, Danjel Purifoy, still hasn't been cleared to play this season. There is hope, at least, that guard TJ Lang will be able to play after suffering concussion-like symptoms in Saturday's win over Tennessee. Jordon Granger, a forward, will continue to be asked to play guard.
Auburn is 7-5 overall, and 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina is 13-0 heading into its league opener on the SEC Network.
Brown wants to bring a complete game to his fourth start. "I've gotten to be a more dimensional player," he said. But those 3-pointers have been a thing of beauty. He's hit 11 3-pointers ― and two 2-pointers ― in the last two games.
He and Kareem Canty have combined to go 21 of 43 from 3-point range in consecutive games.
Certainly, Brown has taken advantage of being healthy, and hiis role keeps expanding.
"I didn't expect for it to be this big at first," he said. "I believe the more I showed the coaches what I could do, it could eventually get to this point. Nobody knew we would have these injuries, so I prepared myself at all times."
Pearl praised Brown after the last game, not only for his long-ranger shooting, but his defense, too.
"I'm very happy for him, and I'm really excited about the fact that, offensively and defensively, he's got a very bright future here, very bright future at the high level of the SEC," Pearl said. "We'll see if it can continue given the adjustments now, the book will be out, and so therefore as Bryce talked about having to develop other aspects of his game, they'll be taking certain things away. I think he can continue to have success, I truly do."
Brown said Auburn can play with the mounting injuries.
"We have these injuries that have definitely affected us as a team, but I definitely still think we can compete in the SEC and win a lot of ball games," Brown said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine