'Breakthrough moment' on horizon, says Tony Barbee

Jan. 20, 2014

AllenPayne
Auburn's Allen Payne playing defense against Florida on Saturday (Zach Bland photo)

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. -- Four tough losses to begin SEC basketball play has not shaken the resolve of Auburn coach Tony Barbee. He says his Tigers will play through the slow start.  

"The mindset has been great," Barbee said during Monday's SEC teleconference. "This is a different group. We've got great chemistry. The guys like playing together. We're playing hard. We're playing tough. We haven't had that breakthrough moment, but it's coming because of the character and makeup of these individuals on this team. It's coming, but we've got to stay the course, keep doing what we're doing." 

Auburn, 8-7 overall and 0-4 in the SEC, will try to break loose at Mississippi State on Wednesday night. Then, the Tigers play at Arkansas on Saturday.  

Auburn has already had a tough road, playing four of the top six teams in the SEC, the most in the league, according to Monday's RPI rankings. Georgia has played three of the league's top six RPI teams. Seven teams have played two of those teams. Three have played one of those teams. Two have played none. 

Auburn lost to Missouri by 2 and Ole Miss by 3. It was within five of Tennessee with 2½ minutes left before losing by 11. It was within three of Florida with a minute left before losing by seven Saturday. 

Auburn is 0-2 against Top 25 RPI teams, but that's not too far off the SEC norm. The league is 4-22 against Top 25 teams.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: