(2017-18 RECORD: 6-1, 0-0 SEC) vs. (2017-18 RECORD: 3-6, 0-0 Big South)
|Wed, Dec 6||7 p.m.|
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn continues its three-game homestand with a non-conference clash against Gardner-Webb.
Rod Bramblett and Sonny Smith will have the radio call on 93.9 Tiger FM, online at www.AuburnTigers.com and on the TuneIn app. The game will also be broadcast on SEC Network+ with Andy Burcham and Joe Ciampi on the call.
The Tigers started the season 6-1 for the second-straight campaign, something that had not been accomplished since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. With a win, Auburn would push its record to 7-1. The Tigers have won seven of their first eight games just three times since 2000 (2003, 2007, 2011).
Auburn has outrebounded its opponents in all seven of the games this season - a feat that was only accomplished 10 times a season ago. The Tigers lead the SEC and rank 15th in the nation with an average rebounding margin of 10.3 per game.
Should the Tigers prevail Wednesday night, they would have the second five-game winning streak under head coach Bruce Pearl. Before Pearl arrived, the Tigers had not produced a five-game winning streak since the 2008-09 season when they won seven consecutive games, Dec. 6-Jan. 3.
Following its duel with Gardner-Webb, Auburn wraps up its homestand versus UAB as part of a doubleheader with the women's basketball team Saturday, Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Jersey Night: The Jungle members, wear any jersey to the game for a chance to be entered in a drawing for a signed Auburn basketball jersey.
Player to Watch: Desean Murray
Junior transfer Desean Murray has guided the Tigers on the floor with his team-high 8.3 rebounds per game. Murray has produced 15 double-digit rebounding games in his career, including two for the Tigers this season. In seven games played, the Stanley, N.C. native has paced Auburn in rebounding four times. Not to mention, he’s one of six players averaging nine or more points per game this year.
Inside the Series: Gardner-Webb
The Tigers and Runnin’ Bulldogs are set to meet for the second time in series history Wednesday night at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers hold a 1-0 advantage in the series, earning a 70-43 victory on Nov. 25, 2005. In that game, Ronny LeMelle led three in double-figures with 12 points. Frank Tolbert and Josh Dollard added 11 and 10, respectively. Auburn outrebounded Gardner-Webb 52-33 in the 40-minute contest.
Auburn is 15-4 all-time against teams from the Big South, including a 119-85 triumph over Winthrop on Nov. 24 earlier this season. The 119 points tied for the fourth-most points in a game in single-season program history.
Gardner-Webb head coach Tim Craft has experience on The Plains. Before joining East Carolina’s staff in 2010, Craft was an assistant coach at Auburn from 2008-10. During that time, the Tigers won 39 games and reached the NIT at the end of the 2009 season.
Craft was promoted to assistant coach following a one-year stint as the director of operations for Auburn during the 2007-08 campaign.
According to KenPom.com, sophomore Anferee McLemore leads the nation in block percentage with an impressive .212 clip. The percentage means that McLemore produces a block one out of every five defensive possessions while he is on the court.
The sophomore leads the SEC and ranks seventh nationally with 3.43 blocks per game. In the team’s seven games, McLemore has swatted 24 shots, good for first in the SEC and ninth in the country.
An Auburn Win Would...
With a win Wednesday, Auburn could have the second five-game winning streak under head coach Bruce Pearl. Before Pearl arrived, the Tigers had not produced a five-game winning streak since the 2008-09 season when they won seven consecutive games, Dec. 6 - Jan. 3.
A win Wednesday would also extend Auburn’s home winning streak to five straight games, dating back to the final game against Missouri last year. The Tigers have had at least a five-game home winning streak in every season under head coach Bruce Pearl, which includes a best of seven in Coach Pearl’s first season from Dec. 17, 2014 - Jan. 15, 2015 at Auburn Arena.
On This Date
On Dec. 6, 2008, Auburn set a program record with 21 steals against Louisiana-Monroe. In the game, eight Tigers recorded a steal, including six with multiple thefts. Quantez Robertson led the way with five steals.
The Tigers are 9-3 on this date all-time and won the last five tilts.
Okeke Earns Freshman of the Week
Forward Chuma Okeke was tabbed the SEC Freshman of the Week, announced by the league office, Dec. 4. Okeke averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game in Auburn’s two victories at Dayton and against George Mason.
Okeke was responsible for 22 of the team’s 53 bench points (42 percent) and 16 of the bench’s 33 rebounds (48 percent) during the two-game week.
The Tigers have made it a priority to win the battle of the boards this season. Through the opening seven games, Auburn has won the rebound margin every contest and touts a +10.3 margin - a mark that leads the SEC and ranks 15th in the country as of games completed Dec. 4, 2017.