Desperate for a win, Auburn’s men’s basketball team will host winless Grambling State at 7 p.m. Tuesday inside Auburn Arena.
The game will snap a 10-day layoff for Auburn. The Tigers (2-5) lost by 4 points to DePaul in their last game. It was Auburn’s fourth straight loss, and its fifth in the past six games.
Auburn coach Tony Barbee said it was a constructive 10-day break, which coincided with players’ final exams.
“We had things that we could work on, and that was good for us,” Barbee said. “We got in some good practices and the guys cleared their head and prepared for exams. We also were able to prepare on the basketball court to get better. Hopefully, this break will help us as we prepare for Grambling State and where we go from here.”
Grambling State (0-6) lost 85-54 to Oregon State on Saturday, their sixth straight defeat to open the season. Each game has come on the road — at Cleveland State, Ball State, Miami, Houston and Texas Tech.
Grambling State has not finished within 26 points of an opponent.
Terry Rose leads Grambling State’s four-guard lineup with 16.5 points per game and is shooting 42 percent from behind the 3-point arc. The freshman averages 10 points per game more than any of his teammates.
“Grambling is a team that likes to get out in transition,” Barbee said. “They like to get easy baskets off steals. Their leading scorer, Terry Rose, is averaging 16 points, and he is their best 3-point shooter. We will need to pay attention to him.
“They are not a big team, but they are very quick and small and try to beat you off the dribble.”
Auburn has been a bit more balanced this season with senior guard Frankie Sullivan leading the SEC with 19.7 points per game. Senior center Rob Chubb is averaging10.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Auburn will also have the services of junior guard Chris Denson, who is now eligible to play. Denson, who averaged 8.7 points per game last year, was academically ineligible for the fall semester. Now that the semester is over, Denson got his grades up enough to return to Auburn’s lineup. He has been practicing with the Tigers since October.
Auburn (2-5) vs. Grambling State (0-6)
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Auburn Arena (9,600)
Radio: WKKR (97.7 FM)/XM 199
Projected starters, Auburn: G Frankie Sullivan, 6-1, Sr. (19.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg); G Jordan Price, 6-5, Fr. (5.3 ppg, 1 rpg); F Noel Johnson, 6-6, Sr. (7.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg); F Allen Payne, 6-6, Jr. (7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg); C Rob Chubb, 6-10, Sr. (10.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg)
Projected starters, Grambling State: G Terry Rose, 6-4, Fr. (16.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg); G Roman Higgins, 6-4, So. (5.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg); G David Copeland, 6-0, So. (5.5 ppg, 2 rpg); G Derron Hobbs, 6-0, Sr. (6.2 ppg, 2 rpg); C Peter Roberson, 7-0, Sr. (6.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
Ryan Wood is the Auburn University Sports Beat Writer for the Opelika-Auburn News.
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