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'Heavy minutes': Shorthanded Auburn heads to Georgia
Feb. 5, 2016

Bryce Brown taking his best shot for Auburn
Bryce Brown taking his best shot for Auburn

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. Bryce Brown was hot the other night. How hot? Six 3-pointers hot.

Now the Auburn guard hopes he and his teammates can turn in a complete game, win their first SEC road game at Georgia on Saturday and battle through another game in which they'll play shorthanded.

Auburn will continue to play without injured guards and a potential impact player still waiting to be cleared to play.

"We don't have as many people, not as much depth," Brown said. "Missing a few players, so of course, over the course of the games a lot of people are having to play heavy minutes. Bodies are fatigued. But that's no excuse, you still should come out and play hard every game."

Auburn plays Georgia at 4:30 p.m., Auburn time, Saturday in Stegeman Coliseum on the SEC Network. The TV cameras will find Auburn at 9-12 overall, 3-6 in the SEC and coming off an 80-68 loss to LSU. Georgia is 12-8 overall, 5-4 in the league and coming of a 69-56 win over No. 25 South Carolina.

Auburn, again, will be without injured Tahj Shamsid-Deen and T.J. Dunans. Coach Bruce Pearl says Dunans could return from a December knee injury before the season is over. There's a chance Danjel Purifoy could play this year, though he still hasn't been cleared, and time is running out. Shamsid-Deen is out for the year.

Auburn players have missed a combined 79 games because of injuries, discipline and eligibility issues. None of that has helped Auburn's record.

"It's much more frustrating for the players than it is for me, and I can't sleep and I'm miserable," Pearl said. "Given that, I still have it in perspective and I have next year and the year after and the year after. For players that are upperclassmen, they don’t. It's really frustrating for upperclassmen who came here and worked hard and haven't been rewarded with great success. It's tougher on them because they've got a shorter window.

"I think our fans have been great. I continue to hear more support. They understand the challenges that we face, yet it all falls back on me. As I've said from the very beginning, I wish we could be providing a better return on the investment sooner."

Brown said the Tigers know their season could have taken a different turn with some good fortune.

"We all know that, but we have to go with what we have right now," he said. "I think what we have is enough, definitely. The people we have, we trust each other. We'll continue to do that. We have to play harder than the other team. We should be fine. But of course, it's frustrating. We wish we had those guys out there, but have to go with what we have right now."

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



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