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Coming together: Auburn looks to stay hot against Alabama
Jan. 19, 2016

TJ Lang and Auburn are on the go heading to Tuesday night's game against Alabama
TJ Lang and Auburn are on the go heading to Tuesday night's game against Alabama

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. ― Twisted ankle or no, TJ Lang figures the chances of Kareem Canty missing Tuesday night's game against Alabama is right around zero.

"There is no way anybody is going to be able to keep him off the court. Even if they say he's not cleared he'll be playing," Lang says.

Canty, Auburn's leading scorer who provided clutch shots down the stretch in last Saturday's 75-70 win over Alabama, figures to be on the court in Tuesday's 8 p.m. game against Alabama in Auburn Arena. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

Canty practiced Monday after wearing a protective boot over the weekend.

"I didn’t celebrate after the win; I just stayed in my room," Canty said.

Auburn trailed Kentucky by 12 earlier in the second half before finally taking the lead for good on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Canty with 1:23 left.

"I just felt like I was more engaged on both ends of the court," Lang said.

Auburn did it despite still playing without two injured starting guards: Tahj Shamsid-Deen, who is out for the season with a bad shoulder; and T.J. Dunans, who could return late in the season if his injured knee improves.

Lang also missed a few games with an injury.

"As far as the injuries go, I was hurt for a little while this season, but that was no excuse for the way I was playing at the beginning of the year," he said. "I kind of just wasn't as engaged or as focused as I should have been. Now, I feel like it's all starting to come together. As a team, I feel like we're also starting to come together. We had two good practices before the Kentucky game and it kind of seemed like everything was starting to click.

"I have to be more of a leader on the defensive end and kind of keep everything in order, talk people through coverages. Also, offensively, just make shots and go crash for rebounds, just do anything we can to help our team win."

Canty and Tyler Harris have been the go-to players offensively for Auburn. They certainly provided most of the points in the second half against Kentucky. Harris had a double-double. Canty scored 26.

"Kareem is obviously very important to our team," said coach Bruce Pearl. "You ask how critical is it if he plays as well? When he plays well, we have a chance to win. When he doesn't play well, we don't. That's pretty critical."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:


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