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Auburn basketball starts fast in exhibition opener

Oct. 28, 2013

Here comes Chris Denson and Auburn in the exhibition opener against Victory (Todd Van Emst)

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  A ton of points has Auburn guard Chris Denson talking about better things this basketball season. 

"Offense won't be a problem for us because we have a lot of scoring pop from everywhere," Denson said after the Tigers proved it by racing past Victory University 109-67 in an exhibition game in Auburn Arena on Monday night. 

It was the first time that new point guards Tahj Shamsid-Deen and Malcolm Canada had a chance to show their game to Auburn fans. The players impressed. They combined for 13 assists, one turnover and 25 points. 

"I said it in there with the group, I said it all summer,  they play well off each other," said coach Tony Barbee. "They're both unselfish. They both can really pass the ball. They are both very cerebral players and they know how to take care of the ball. They know what I want." 

The game was never close, and Auburn went through various lineups. Thirteen players saw action. Ten scored. Leading the way was Denson, with 21 points and seven rebounds, followed by Shamsid-Deen with 16 points and Benas Griciunas with 15 more. 

The scoring was pretty evenly split between the veterans and newcomers. The five players who were on the roster last year, counting Virginia transfer KT Harrell, combined to score 53 points. 

"I thought we played extremely hard and I thought it looked like we were having a ton of fun out there playing together, and that's what this team is about," Barbee said. 

Auburn has been playing a long time for this exhibition game, and Friday's exhibition game against Paine College, but mainly for the regular-season opener against Nicholls State on Nov. 8. 

"It's just carried over," Barbee said. "These guys love each other, they care about each other and they want each man to do really well. 

"It shows up on how we share the ball." 

Matthew Atewe didn't play because of a foot injury, but Barbee said he expects him to play Friday.

Video highlights of Auburn's exhibition win...

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



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