Alabama Basketball Opponent Preview: Auburn Tigers

Ole Miss v Auburn
Ole Miss v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Alabama Basketball vs Auburn will tip off at 6:30 CT (7:30 ET) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The game will be televised on ESPN. 

Alabama Basketball (12-6, 4-1) looks to get back in the win column on Wednesday night when it takes on the Auburn Tigers (16-2, 5-0) in Coleman Coliseum. Auburn sits alone atop the SEC standings, having won all of its league games by double-digits to this point. 

The Tigers are a gritty team led by a coalition of veterans. The frontcourt combination of junior forward Johni Broome and senior forward Jaylin Williams has been potent all season, while Dylan Cardwell gives Auburn a big, physical body off the bench.

Broome in particular has been a force in the paint, just as he was last year. He leads Auburn averaging north of 15 points and eight rebounds per game, adding two blocks per contest as well. Broome is a veteran presence, having started well over 100 career games in his time at Morehead State and Auburn.

Alabama Basketball has had some instability at the ‘5’ spot this year, cycling between senior Nick Pringle and transfer Mo Wague. Broome will present a difficult matchup for either of Bama’s bigs.

Jaylin Williams is a physical combo forward in his fifth year in the Auburn program. He is averaging over 12 points and five rebounds per game (both career-highs), while also shooting a career-high 45 percent from the three-point line. 

Junior wing Chad Baker-Mazara is a three-level scorer off the bench for the Tigers, averaging just under 10 points per game. Baker-Mazara has the length to contend with Bama’s wings, but he is a perimeter-oriented player much like Bama’s Sam Walters. 

Freshman guard Aden Holloway is the prototypical Bruce Pearl guard, and has done pretty well in year one. Holloway has started nearly every game for the Tigers, averaging 10 points and over three assists per game while shooting nearly 35 percent on high volume from the three-point line. 

Senior guard KD Johnson has been Auburn’s emotional leader for the last three years. Coming off the bench, Johnson brings electric energy to the defensive end of the floor and plays the role of an agitator as well as anyone in college basketball. 

Sophomore guard Tre Donaldson also comes off the bench for the Tigers and functions as a true floor general. He leads Auburn with 3.4 assists per game despite playing just 18 minutes per contest, and has been a reliable outside shooter on low volume. 

This is a good Auburn backcourt, but Alabama Basketball has a distinct advantage here. If Mark Sears and Aaron Estrada get in a groove, Auburn will have to find the shot-making to keep pace. Latrell Wrightsell Jr. has been a revelation in the Tide backcourt off the bench, and can add a scoring punch of his own. 

Expect this to be an intense and closely-contested game in Coleman Coliseum. These two high-level college basketball teams both have matchup advantages in different areas and will attempt to capitalize.

Bama-Auburn is quickly becoming one of the best and most heated basketball rivalries in the sport, and that will be on full display in this game.