(2017-18 RECORD: 11-1, 0-0 SEC) vs. (2017-18 RECORD: 5-6, 0-0 Ivy League)
|Sat, Dec 30||2:30 p.m.|
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 Dave Neal and Barry Booker set to describe the action.
"[Cornell] runs 5-out and a lot of Princeton stuff," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "It's a very unique scout. [Cornell] has all of our attention. If there's an area where we've struggled defensively, it's defending the 3-ball."
The Big Red make their way to The Plains after suffering a 97-96 overtime loss to Delaware Thursday night. In that game, Cornell hit 13 shots from behind the arc, including seven from big man Stone Gettings.
"Anfernee [McLemore] and Horace [Spencer] have to be able to extend," Pearl stated. "It's a very unique cover. If you let Cornell do what they want to do, they can really bother you with their stuff. The coaching in the Ivy League is really good. Brian Earl has a really good offensive mind."
The Tigers are off to their best start to a season since 1999 when they opened the campaign 16-1. A main reason for that, says sophomore forward Anfernee McLemore, is the ability for the team to click together.
"I think the chemistry is really good. I feel like we're taking the coaching well and we're finding where we need to get better at and we're executing on that."
Auburn has four players that average in double figures this season, led by Mustapha Heron (15.6) and Bryce Brown (15.5). Jared Harper adds 12.2 points and a team-high 5.4 assists per contest. Desean Murray, who leads the team in rebounding at 7.7 boards per contest, also contributes 11.3 points per game.
During Auburn's 9-game winning streak, the Tigers have outshot opponents .461-.400. Auburn has also been active on defense, averaging 7.0 steals and 6.1 blocks in the last nine games. Auburn has also led for 319:12 out of a possible 360 minutes (89 percent).
Following its duel with Cornell, SEC play gets underway with Auburn traveling to Tennessee, Jan. 2. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU and the Auburn Sports Network.
Player to watch: Anfernee McLemore
Since being inserted into the starting lineup Dec. 3, Anfernee McLemore has anchored the defense from his forward spot. The sophomore has amassed 20 blocks in six starts. His 3.25 blocks per game currently leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally. McLemore has also shown his ability to step out and hit shots from deep, connecting on 5 of 11 attempts from downtown since starting.
Inside the series: Cornell
The Tigers and Big Red will meet for the first time in series history Saturday.
Auburn is 4-1 against teams from the Ivy League all-time, collecting wins over Columbia, Dartmouth and Penn.
Top of the pack
Auburn has fared well in the past two seasons in the non-conference slate. The Tigers lead the SEC in both wins (22) and winning percentage (.880) in non-league regular season games since the start of last campaign.
Arkansas and Mississippi State are next on the list, with 21-4 and 20-4 records over that span, respectively.
Auburn is tied with Kentucky with the most underclassmen in the nation with 12 on the roster and only one senior. The Tigers are one of just seven teams in the country to have 10 or more on their roster.
On this date
On Dec. 30, 2013, the Tigers set an Auburn Arena record after shooting a scalding .654 (34 of 52) from the field against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Ten players scored for Auburn, led by KT Harrell's 19 and Chris Denson's 17.
The Tigers are 15-9 on Dec. 30 all-time and have won their last 10 games on this date.