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Cinmeon Bowers continues to make things happen at Auburn
Jan. 20, 2015

Cinmeon Bowers has the freedom to make the big play for Auburn

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  Bruce Pearl is a players' coach and a patient man.

Exhibit A through F: Cinmeon Bowers, Auburn's big man who leads the SEC with 11 double-doubles, a guy who occasionally thinks he's a point guard who sometimes fires off hopeful 3-pointers and who is adventure at the free throw line, and who plays with energy and joy.

The good things are skill related. The bad things? "Basketball gods," Bowers says with a smile.

Bowers, the SEC rebounding leader, will be on display again at 8 p.m. Wednesday when Mississippi State visits Auburn Arena.  Auburn is 10-7 overall and 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State is 8-9 overall and 1-3 in the league. 

"I always wanted to be a point guard growing up and I have always played center, on every basketball team I played on growing up," Bowers said. "I guess I was always the tallest, most physical guy. I like bringing the ball up and make plays happen."

Bowers does that, thanks to Pearl.

"I know it drives our fans crazy and I get questions and emails about it all the time about how I let him take the ball coast-to-coast," Pearl said. "There are certain things that I am very rigid about like going to class or how we have certain kinds of habits. There are some things that I feel I have to give those players freedom, especially if I am going to be a player’s coach and let them evolve. He pushes the ball as hard and as well as our point guards do at times. It looks like he is out of control. We do not run without the ball when we are in our fast break as well as we could, including when he has it. If we would just let him go and run without it, he will find you and he has done that pretty well the last couple of ball games. 

"There were times that he was going one-on-four and he was out of control and I said to him 'Would I let my point guards do that?' and he said 'No, probably not.' 'So why would I let you do that. You get it, you rebound it and take it. But act like a point guard and go find an open man and I feel like he has been doing a better and better job at that.'

"I have more confidence in the building than anybody else that he is going to make a play."

Pearl will looking to Bowers, and leading scorer KT Harrell and fellow wingman Antoine Mason to provide the offensive spark against Mississippi State. But Pearl will also call on the Auburn crowd again. He said it played a factor in Auburn's win over South Carolina last Saturday. He wants it again, even at the start of the second half.

"I would like everybody standing and cheering and going nuts, for no apparent reason other than the fact that my guys need to wake up and act like they are down 10 every time we come out of the locker room. They can help us," Pearl said.  

"Our fans are getting in. What happens is when you struggle to rebound the ball because of our size and you turn South Carolina over 17 times, that is 17 less shots that they take. When they shoot 50 percent and they get 17 less shots, you do the math. The crowd can help us turn the opponent over, create offense from our defense and yes, cheer hard when we are defense and that would really help. Just like what we do at the football stadium."

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



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