The Southeastern Conference Basketball Tournament will kick off Wednesday in Atlanta with the matchup of the Auburn Tigers going against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Auburn has won two meetings between the teams this year.
The Tigers will look to leading scorer Chris Denson who is second in the SEC in scoring at 19.2 points per game while South Carolina?s Brenton Williams leads the Gamecocks in scoring at 15.2 points a contest.
Auburn head coach Tony Barbee says playing South Carolina a third time is a test in itself.
?It?s always been a challenge when you play a team twice, and you beat them twice,” Barbee said.? “They?re going to make adjustments and how they play, they?re very physical and maybe the most physical team in the league is always a challenge.?
Having momentum heading into postseason play could be a?key for teams that want to go far in their conference tournament. Auburn is 3-3 in its last six games but the Tigers did beat?Texas A&M in its last matchup.??Barbee says that the victory against the Aggies gave his team momentum before the matchup against South Carolina.
?Just from a momentum standpoint, we hadn?t played well over the previous 10 days, and your psyche can be damaged, so it was good to have our guys bounce back to let them know that they can still compete and still win regardless of who we play against.?
South Carolina coach Frank Martin will be back on the sidelines, after he served a one game suspension for his actions during the game against the Florida Gators when he verbally berated a player. Martin missed the Gamecock?s victory against Mississippi State.
Martin says the team has been working on trying to figure out how to defeat Auburn for the first time this season.
?As coaches, we?ve obviously been connected in trying to figure out the things we?ve done well, the things we haven?t done well against them and put something in place that hopefully gets a better result than the first two games,” Martin said.
Martin expects his team to play their best game of the season, and?thinks Auburn?will also?play better the third time around. Tipoff is set for tomorrow at 7pm.
For audio from the coaches click below: