Auburn Just Needs To Keep Its Composure With The SEC Regular Season Coming To An End

KNOXVILLE -- Hey Auburn basketball fans, don't start doubting anything about your team right now, it's not necessary. I say this because of the reaction from a few Auburn players on social media following the loss to Tennessee on Saturday night.

The Tigers entered the game against Tennessee as the 3rd ranked team in the country, which will change come Monday, but they should keep a top-5 ranking when the polls come out on Monday. I know it's easy to overreact after a loss, especially when you're leading by eleven points in the second half, only to watch the Vols come storming back to grab the win. Yes, the Tigers bench only produced five points and the team was out-rebounded 54-31 by the pesky Vols, but this isn't the time to start doubting this team.

Tennessee entered the game with a plan to try and make Walker Kessler uncomfortable in the paint, which worked in a way by him only having eight points on the night. But, it was how the Vols tried to keep the Auburn guards from beating them that actually worked out in the end. Besides a great night from K.D. Johnson, who finished the game with 18 points, the Tigers were held to just nine points combined from Zep Jasper, Wendell Green Jr. and Allen Flanigan. It was just one of those nights where Tennessee's game plan ended up working out exactly how they planned it. Let Jabari Smith get his, while the focus will be on preventing the Tigers from getting the easy baskets from talented guards.

Rick Barnes had this to say about Auburn relying on Jabari Smith and his talented mindset on the court.

I understand the emotions after a loss and how this game played out on the court. But, I don't think we'll see another performance where the three point shooting is bad, getting out-hustled on the boards and your bench only giving you five points. But Tennessee was the better team tonight because of how they made Auburn play and also the way in which the Chandler, Vescovi and Zeigler attacked the basket. Don't forget that this was something Bruce Pearl discussed on Thursday, knowing the Tennessee guards are good, but even better when they're all on the court at the same time, which was proven tonight by the 40 points combined that they scored, 31 of those points in the second half.

I thought Bruce Pearl summed it up pretty well during his postgame press conference.

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Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series. Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football "Credit Card Scandal" along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.