What's wrong with Auburn basketball's defense?
Bruce Pearl's Tigers are struggling on defense right now, and there aren't just one or two easy reasons why. Here's a closer look at the issues.
HC Bruce Pearl (Shanna Lockwood/Auburn Athletics)
It had been like clockwork for Auburn basketball — if Bruce Pearl’s Tigers scored 80 points, they were going to win the game.
In each of their six losses last season, they never allowed more than 75 points. In their run to the Final Four a year earlier, the Tigers scored 80 and 84 points, respectively, in mid-January losses to Kentucky and South Carolina. Auburn won 17 of its next 21 games, never giving up more than 80 points in a game the rest of the way.
On Saturday, Auburn left the floor with its third straight loss, an 86-84 heartbreaker to Ole Miss that ended with a buzzer-beater. It marked the fourth time in just 11 SEC games that the Tigers scored 80 points and still lost.
While the Rebels and the Tigers got an extra five minutes to throw more points on the scoreboard Saturday, the Auburn defense was the reason it was in that position. A slower-paced Ole Miss team had little issue coming back from a 14-point second-half deficit. Rom…