The Auburn Tigers finished last in the SEC with a 3-15 conference record and a 9-23 overall record along with a loss in the first round of the SEC tournament to the Texas A&M Aggies. The record reflects a disappointing season, but the Tigers began the year knowing that it might not be a very good one with the future of the Auburn basketball program in mind.
Tony Barbee’s team had the talent to be a mid-level SEC team but was far too young to be consistent. The lack of consistency was evident when the Tigers lost to the Winthrop Eagles, a team that finished next to last in the Big South conference. They followed that loss up with a two point loss away from home to the No. 12 ranked Illinois Fighting Illini before beating the Florida State Seminoles at home. Auburn’s inconsistency really hurt their potential this season.
Interestingly enough, Barbee went with a mostly senior lineup. Seniors Rob Chubb, Josh Wallace and Frankie Sullivan took up the majority of minutes on the court for Auburn. By choosing some of seniors over the more talented freshmen, Barbee was able to work these players into the physical, fast-paced play of the SEC in an attempt to prepare them for the next season.
The future for the Tigers is bright, and even if they don’t succeed next year, Auburn has the potential talent level to compete to be one of the better teams in the SEC within two or three years. The Tigers have three outstanding freshmen returning next year in Jordan Price, Shaquille Johnson and Brian Greene. With the mostly senior starting lineup graduating, these players will finally get a chance to shine and show off their talent next season. Auburn will improve drastically — expect the Tigers to finish somewhere in the middle of the SEC.