Samir Doughty, J'Von McCormick, Danjel Purifoy, Anfernee McLemore and Austin Wiley. These are the names of the most legendary senior class in Auburn history. Names every Auburn fan will never forget. This was not the last game these seniors will play in an Auburn uniform, but it certainly feels like the end of an era. The Jungle will never have the pleasure of getting to see these seniors play ever again.
No more cutouts of Purifoy's head. No more going crazy over a dunk from Wiley. No more crossovers from Doughty and McCormick. No more slingshot threes from McLemore.
Tonight was more about surviving than celebrating though. While I'm sure Auburn had every intention of beating up on the reeling Aggies, it became clear in the first half that Texas A&M had come to play.
Auburn needed everything they could get from their seniors, but they didn't get enough. Purifoy had a chance to hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and send the game to overtime, but could not connect. The Tigers 19 game home winning streak ended on the one night you didn't want it to end. "We had expectations of winning this game, but I guess they were the better team tonight," said Doughty. "They deserved this win, but we could've played much better.
Tonight was not about the result of the game though. Well it was a little bit, but tonight was about celebrating the seniors. They may not have been able to deliver a win tonight, but they have already given Auburn so much in their four years that one less win against Texas A&M feels insignificant.
A Final Four run, two SEC championships and 98 wins; just some of the accomplishments of this incredible senior class.
Auburn basketball would not be where it is without these seniors, but these seniors have been given a lot in return. "(Auburn) helped me grow as a person and as a basketball player. I appreciate the fans; each and every game was exciting," said Doughty.
The rest of the season should go a lot smoother than tonight did for the Tigers. This team has championship aspirations and when the season is over, these seniors could add a lot more to their resume. Tonight was a celebration of what the seniors have done so far, but there could be more celebrations of what they do this spring.
Auburn football wasn't the Auburn team in action on Saturday. Auburn women’s basketball was back in action for its second game of the season, notching its second win in a close one, 66-64 over Samford.