Balanced scoring the goal, says Auburn's Tony Barbee

Oct. 31, 2013

MalcolmCanada
Auburn's Malcolm Canada helped point guard play get off to a fast start in exhibition play (Todd Van Esmt photo)

Game Notes (PDF)

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. -- Five players scored in double figures in Auburn's first exhibition game. Coach Tony Barbee says he hopes to see something like that every night this season. 

"We're going to have balanced scoring," Barbee says. "They're sacrificing for each other. One night it will be one guy's night. Another night it will be another guy's night." 

Auburn had plenty of scoring chances for one and all in Monday's 109-67 win over Victory University. Barbee said things figure to be tougher in Friday's 7 p.m. final exhibition game in Auburn Arena against Paine College, a team with Division I transfers. Admission is free.

Barbee likes the idea of deep scoring because "those kinds of teams are the hardest to defend." 

Exhibit A on Monday was this: Veteran Chris Denson led Auburn with 21 in the first exhibition game. He was followed by Tahj Shamsid-Deen with 16, Benas Griciunas with 15 and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum and KT Harrell with 14 each. 

Barbee liked that. And he liked this: The Shamsid-Deen and Malcolm Canada, his new point guards. 

"I think we're really, really solid at the point guard position between Malcolm and Tahj," he said. "If we could get 25 points, 13 assists and one turnover from those two in every game this year, we'll be really happy." 

That's the small part of the lineup. The big part of the lineup looked good, too, despite not having one of the big men, Matthew Atewe, available because of a foot injury. 

"Between Benas and Asauhn, and when Matt comes back, it will add a lot to it. But out of that spot we got 29 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. We'd take that every single night," Barbee said. 

Barbee says Paine College will be a fair tune-up before opening the regular season against Nicholls State on Nov. 8. 

"We really work on our half-court offenses and half-court defenses in the first exhibition game. Now, you'll see more of our full-court defensive packages, some of our presses because we want to create a little more tempo this year, a little more scoring, and we'll do that out of our full-court defense."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Auburn Tigers.com. Follow him on Tiwtter: