99 in 99: #95 Auburn Tigers

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Auburn Cheerleaders

UPDATED: Friday August 20, 2010

Our first update to one of our teams in the Sports Bank‘s 99 team college basketball preview in 99 days.  Auburn took a major hit with news that two expected impact freshmen did not qualify academically and will not enroll at the university.  If I could, I would easily move the Tigers down to the bottom spot in this series that ranks the 72 power conference teams and top 27 mid-majors.

By: David Kay

Auburn Tigers (4th, 6-10 in SEC West, 15-17 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Rob Chubb (So)/Ty Armstrong (So)
PF: Ken Gabriel (Jr)/Adrian Forbes (Jr)
SF: Josh Langford (Fr)/Allen Payne (Fr)
G: Earnest Ross (So)/Andre Malone (So)
PG: Chris Denson (Fr)/Tony Neysmith (Jr)/Frankie Sullivan (Jr)

Gone: PG-DeWayne Reed, G-Tay Waller, SF-Lucas Hargrove, PF-Johnnie Lett, C-Brendon Knox

Tony Barbee Auburn

2010-2011 Outlook:
It will be a welcomed season of change at Auburn.  They add a new coach, open a new arena, and will likely put an entirely new starting five on the floor.  While the first two are exciting and much needed steps for the program, the latter likely translates into struggles this season for the Tigers.

Auburn loses four of their five starters from a year ago, and the only returnee Frankie Sullivan underwent knee surgery in July.  There is no timetable for his return but I cannot imagine him being ready for the start of the season if at all in 2010-2011.  But that has only been the beginning of off-season issues that have popped up for new coach Tony Barbee, who arrives at Auburn from UTEP replacing the fired Jeff Lebo.

Ty Armstrong who was likely to compete for a starting spot also suffered a serious knee injury and will likely be sidelined for the year.  Add on to that the recent news that expected impact freshman Luke Cohtron and fellow newcomer Shawn Kemp did not qualify academically and will not play for the Tigers this season.  That means the Tigers bring back no player who averaged more then 2.8 points per game last season and will lack serious leadership and depth.  Not exactly the ideal way for Barbee to start his tenure at Auburn.

Player to Watch: Josh Langford, SF

With the injuries to Sullivan and Armstrong and eligibility issues of Cothron and Kemp, Langford is suddenly thrust into the spotlight at Auburn.  He was a late signee of Barbee and is a high flyer who should fit well in the Tigers new dribble drive motion offense.  He will have every chance to flourish and should see extended playing time right off the bat.

Key Non-Conference Games:
TBD vs. Florida State
TBD at South Florida
12/11 vs. Rutgers (SEC/Big East Challenge)

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