PREVIEW: Gamecocks Look To Stay Hot In Road Match-Up At Auburn

Tonight, the Gamecocks will look to move above .500 in SEC play by handing Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers their third-straight loss.

This time a week ago, the Tigers were undefeated and up to #4 in the polls. However, two lopsided road losses to Alabama and Florida have them skidding into this matchup. 

Analyzing Bruce Pearl’s squads over the years makes it extremely clear what he likes to do: play fast and get just enough stops on defense to let the offense take control of the game.

This team is the most stereotypical Bruce Pearl team in his tenure at Auburn, currently ranking third in the SEC in points per game, but not shooting anywhere near the highest percentage in the conference from the floor, three pointers, or free throws.

This is a good indicator of how fast Auburn plays, since they score a lot of points even though their offense isn’t the most efficient in the conference.  

Samir Doughty, a senior guard that seems like he’s played at Auburn for almost a decade now, is the Tigers’ most effective scorer and their best overall player.

He’s gotten a lot of help from a freshman forward this season, as Isaac Okoro has made his presence felt in every game he’s played in so far this season.

Both guys will be matchup nightmares for the Gamecocks and keeping them at bay will be a huge challenge tonight.

Auburn’s up-tempo style of play does not fit the Gamecocks’ DNA as a Frank Martin-coached basketball team, however Carolina has made some offensive strides since halftime of the Kentucky game.

They are averaging more than 45 points per half in the last 60 minutes of basketball played and have shot three-pointers at a record-breaking rate since the dreadful start against the Wildcats.

The most encouraging aspect of this recent run by the Gamecocks is the depth shown on offense.

It seems like a different player has shown up every night and carried most of the load on the offensive end, and I expect more of the same tonight.

The keys to tonight’s game are simple: control the boards and stay out of foul trouble.

I really like the Gamecocks’ chances tonight if they have their entire rotation at full service for the second half.

Carolina has been one of the best teams in the nation when it comes to getting victories on the road this year, so why should this game be any different?

I correctly called the Kentucky upset, so I’m gonna keep on riding the wave.

South Carolina 83, Auburn 75.

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