Oct. 24, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Less than three weeks away from the start of the 2013-14 basketball season, AuburnTigers.com is taking a position-by-position preview of the Tigers' squad. This week, we look at Auburn's posts.
The Tigers return their main three post players from last season in senior Peyton Davis (Pinson, Ala.) and sophomores Tra'Cee Tanner (Birmingham, Ala.) and Cabriana Capers (Bolingbrook, Ill.). Auburn also adds some athleticism and depth to the post with the addition of junior college transfer Melinda Brimfield (Norway, S.C.) and the transition of senior Tyrese Tanner (Birmingham, Ala.).
After seeing limited action in her first two years at Auburn, Davis embraced her role as a starter last season, averaging 6.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. She started all 34 games and totaled career highs of 15 points and 17 rebounds, along with two double-doubles. Her 17 rebounds, coming against Arkansas, rank 27th all-time at Auburn in single-game rebounds.
Tanner took on a big role in the post as a freshman, playing in all 34 game, starting in two, averaging 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. She scored a career-high 21 points early in the season against Jacksonville, pulling down a career-high 12 rebounds in the game as well for her first double-double. She was the first Auburn freshman to notch a double-double since DeWanna Bonner in 2006.
"The five position for us is a tough position because they need to be a little more athletic, a little more agile to play the back of our press," said head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "They're not there yet. But, as far as a five that can bang inside, that's more of what they can do for us. I think both of them right now, we are really focusing on them being better rebounders, not just defensively, but offensively."
A new face in the post is the older of the Tanner sisters, Tyrese. Playing mostly on the wing in her first three years on The Plains, she was moved to the four this year to add more depth and athleticism.
"I think with our fours they give us the athleticism we want on the back of our press," said Williams-Flournoy. "That's really one reason why we moved Tyrese back there, also because we brought in a lot of guards and she can help us in the back of our press more than anyone else."
Tyrese has led Auburn in scoring each of the last two years and is coming off a season in which she averaged 14.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. She scored in double figures in 13 of Auburn's final 14 games of the season, leading the Tigers to the WNIT Quarterfinals.
Capers played in 30 games last season, averaging 1.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. She totaled career highs of eight points and nine rebounds last year and is expected to see an expanded role as a sophomore.
The newcomer in the post is Brimfield, who comes to Auburn after two years at Gulf Coast State College. She averaged 7.4 points and 3.8 rebounds last year on a team that finished in fourth at the NJCAA national tournament, but her focus has been getting healthy since arriving on The Plains.
"Melinda is coming along. She's coming off of both a knee and a foot injury so she's kind of behind right now," said Williams-Flournoy. "Cabriana is having her best preseason conditioning where she missed a lot of it last year from being hurt. She is in great shape right now."
The Tigers return three starters and five letterwinners from last season's team that went 19-15 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women's NIT in Williams-Flournoy's first season as head coach. Auburn welcomes eight newcomers for the 2013-14 season.
The Tigers will open the season on Saturday, Nov. 9 as Auburn hosts Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. CT, at Auburn Arena. The Tigers will play a 14-game home schedule this year with games against Tulane, St. John's, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Georgia and in-state rival Alabama.
Season tickets are on sale now with packages starting as low as $50. New for the season, fans can purchase the Auburn Women's Basketball Flex Pack. The Flex Pack offers fans the opportunity to purchase six games of their choice for $24. Flex Packs went on sale on Oct. 21 and single-game tickets will go on sale on Nov. 4. For more information on tickets, go to AUBTix.com or call 1-855-282-2010.