Auburn, AL (EETV)- After nine months since their first apperance in the Final Four, Auburn basketball returned to the court and defeated Echerd in their exhibition game 97-53.
With much of the talent from last season's team gone, the Tigers were able to play twelve new players to give fans a chance to see what they could do.
Auburn's veterans led the way as J'von McCormick, Samir Doughty, and Danjel Purifoy were the top scorers. Newcomers Isaac Okoro and Devan Cambridge caught the eye as Cambridge scored 11 points and Okoro was solid on the defensive side of the ball. Here are the takeaways from last night's game.
1. J'von McCormick Continues to Become a Leader
J'von McCormick has become the starting point guard for Auburn after sharing time with Jared Harper last season. McCormick improved greatly over the course of last year's postseason run.
McCormick scored 20 points last night with five assists and two steals. He looks more comfortable as the point guard and shot the ball very efficiently going 8-13 from the field.
Coach Pearl talked about J'von's play saying, "He's been really good, he's taking control and is leading by example. I asked alot of him to run that position and he's growing up before your eyes."
2. Samir Doughty Showed his Scoring Touch
Samir Doughty made a strong return last night as he dropped 14 points with four assists and on steal. Like McCormick, Doughty has had to take on a bigger role.
Doughty played a forward position but also swapped with McCormick at the point guard spot. "He's been good," Pearl said. "It is easier to get it into his hands. He's good with the ball and if we put it in his hands, he can be a playmaker."
3. Auburn's Defense can be a Threat to Opponents
Auburn's biggest boost this season may be their defense as they have size and depth as players such as Austin Wiley and Anfernee McLemore imposed their will above the rim.
Isaac Okoro played a big part defensively with two steals in the game. Nigerian Babatunde Akingbola also provides another backup for Wiley and McLemore at the center position.
Auburn forced 15 turnovers in the game and recorded eleven blocks in total. The defense scored 25 points off turnovers which shows their ability to create havoc on defense.
4. Up Next
Auburn will face Georgia Southern on Tuesday night to open up the regular season. Tip-off will be at 8pm and can be seen on SEC Network.