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Auburn basketball hits Vegas hoping offense stays hot
Nov. 24, 2014

Malcolm Canada led a parade of career-high scorers for Auburn last time out

By Charles Goldberg
Bruce Pearl says Auburn's latest basketball road trip will be a learning experience for his players.

Welcome to Las Vegas, Bruce Pearl and the Tigers.

"It's a little different than Auburn, Alabama," Pearl observed. "That experience in and of itself is something that we want these guys to experience."

Auburn is in Las Vegas for two games in the MGM Grand Main Event, starting with a game Monday against Tulsa at 10 p.m., Auburn time, on ESPNU. The Tigers will play again Wednesday against either Oklahoma State or Oregon State in either the championship or consolation game.

Auburn and Tulsa are each 2-1, and, and for the Tigers, it is another early-season test. Each of Auburn's first four opponents played in the NCAA Tournament last season. Tulsa returns four starters. None of Auburn's players have been to the NCAA Tournament.
But it's another opportunity to play in the bright lights.

"Our goal is for Auburn basketball to be relevant in the world of college basketball," Pearl said. "We have to be able to participate and compete in tournaments like this."

"It's a great venue. As an educator, to be able to get these kids to see a different part of the country, it's exciting for them to be here and experience it. Las Vegas is a spectacular city."

Auburn hasn't played in Las Vegas since 2003. Keep that history book open. These Tigers turned back time in its 105-80 victory over the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Friday night.

Four players  Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Cinmeon Bowers, Jordon Granger and Malcolm Canada  all had career highs in scoring. And Auburn broke the 100-piont barrier for the first time since 2003, a span of 340 games. Auburn did all of that despite not having Antoine Mason, the nation's leading returning scorer, who missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. He's questionable for Monday's game.

All the while, KT Harrell has led Auburn in each of its first three games.

Bowers, a newcomer, has been a force inside. He leads the SEC in rebounding, at 14 per game, and has recorded a double-double in all three games.

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



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