2007-08 Auburn Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #81
Conference Rank: #10 SEC
2006-07: 17-15, 7-9, 3rd (t) West
2006-07 postseason: none
It has been a while since Auburn was a contender in the SEC. Alabama and Arkansas got all the credit, but the Tigers had the same 7-9 conference record. With the top eight scorers returning, this could be the year the Tigers become more than just an easy victory for their conference opponents. Auburn had five players average between 11.0 and 12.5 points per game last season and their unselfish balanced scoring attack will put them in a position to really surprise some people.
Kelvin Lewis was a decent outside shooter and is transferring to Houston after seeing limited action in Auburn. Lewis was probably not the answer, but the Tigers are in need of finding a quality shooter or two.
At 7-1 and 275 pounds, Boubacar Sylla has plenty of potential to be a dominating player in the SEC. He has not been playing basketball very long, so the word potential will be used often to describe the Parisian. Sylla has a decent offensive game and can hit the short range jumper or find his open teammates. However, it is Tyrell Lynch who will play a more important role this year. If the 6-8 power forward can become a decent option off the bench it will open up some possible lineup changes on the front line.
Who to Watch:
If Lynch can pull off 15 minutes a game off the bench, the Tigers could start three of the most underappreciated forwards in the nation. Last year Quan Prowell was relegated to the bench much of the year, but the 6-8 forward could be a mismatch at the small forward position. If there is no depth up front, he has to play the power forward spot. Prowell is the best long range shooter on the team and with his size and athleticism, he will give opposing small forwards all sorts of problems. Josh Dollard led the team with 12.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and will stay at his power forward position. While undersized at 6-7, Korvotney Barber is a quality big man. His length and shot blocking ability make him a solid defender and he has developed into a good post scoring threat. If Lynch is not up to the task of contributing off the bench, Matt Heramb and Lucas Hargrove have the potential to do so. Hargrove is more of a small forward and Heramb only saw a handful of minutes in 13 contests during the 2006-2007 campaign.
The backcourt has a leader in Frank Tolbert. Now a senior, Tolbert is expected to be the go to scorer on the perimeter. Rasheem Barrett lacked consistency with his shot, but has the potential to be a great shooting guard. He rarely meets a shot he does not like, but he needs to find his teammates when the shot is finding the back of the iron. Quantez Robertson and Dewayne Reed will find their teammates but, yet again, the shooting is erratic. Archie Miaway will provide some experience off the bench. No matter who starts or where they start, the Tigers need a shooter. Just about everybody on the roster will take the long ball, but the consistency has been, and will be, a problem. The frontcourt is nothing short of amazing and that means the perimeter group should have plenty of open looks. If they knock them down, Auburn will do better than just a trip to the NIT. Unfortunately, there is little reason to believe the shooting will be any more consistent this year than it was last year.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Quantez Robertson, Junior, Guard, 8.2 points per game
Frank Tolbert, Senior, Guard, 11.8 points per game
Quan Prowell, Senior, Forward, 11.4 points per game
Josh Dollard, Junior, Forward, 12.5 points per game
Korvotney Barber, Junior, Forward, 11.2 points per game