Columnist

Andy is a regular columnist for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.

The No. 20 Auburn basketball program, now 12-3 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, has an unusually wide range between its best and worst capability in 2023 and both were on full display last week. The Tigers lost on the road to unranked Georgia by double digits 64-76. Then, turned around and defeated No. 13 Arkansas in Neville Arena by double digits 72-59. Obviously, there are many factors that determine wins and losses in a basketball game, but Auburn's biggest challenge this season has been simply putting the ball through the hoop. Good defense travels and Bruce Pearl's squad is very consistent on that end of the floor. They routinely hold their opponent well below their scoring average and predominantly hold a significant advantage in rebounds. The biggest problem has been scoring. The Tigers are 10th in the SEC in field-goal percentage at 43.4 percent, 11th in free-throw percentage at 67.6 percent and 12th in three-point percentage at 29.2 percent. They were well below all three averages against Georgia and above all three averages against Arkansas. If the shots are falling, Auburn can beat anyone. If they're not, Auburn can lose to anyone.

Andy Graham is a regular columnist for The Outlook.

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