If defense wins championships, Auburn basketball has built quite the contender
The best defense of the Bruce Pearl era keeps getting better, even when the competition is getting tougher.
(Jacob Taylor/Auburn Athletics)
It can be tough to remember at times — like when Jabari Smith is hitting a contested jumper that only a handful of college players would realistically try or when Wendell Green Jr. is pulling once again from the midcourt logo — but the identity of this Auburn basketball team is defense.
Just look at this past week. Yes, Auburn broke the 80-point mark in both of its road wins against Alabama and Ole Miss. But the game was ultimately won on the other end of the floor.
Alabama went on a wild second-half run but missed its final eight shots from the field as Auburn pulled out the victory in Coleman Coliseum. Ole Miss played a near-perfect first half of basketball but only went 7-24 (29.2%) after halftime and didn’t hit a shot for the last 3:05.
“Obviously, our second-half defense at Ole Miss was the difference,” Bruce Pearl said Monday. “Our last four minutes of defense at Alabama were the difference. The difference is road wins.”
Auburn was able to get through …