The Auburn Tigers will face their first true road test on Sunday afternoon when they head to the mountains to take on Appalachian State.
Auburn will certainly face a rowdy atmosphere, as the Holmes Center in Boone, North Carolina will be sold out for the first time in almost 14 years. The Mountaineers enter the contest with a 5-2 record, with losses to Oregon State and Northern Illinois.
App State will be led by Graduate guard Donovan Gregory, who leads the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game, as well as Junior forward Tre’Von Spillers. Spillers is coming off of his first double-double of the season, where he went for 15 points and 11 rebounds, as well as adding four blocks in the process.
Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl has become well known for his non-conference scheduling, and a win in Boone could certainly be a resume booster.
“They’re picked second in the Sun Belt behind James Madison,” said Pearl. “They’ve got high-major size, and high-major athletes. They’re really well coached.”
The road matchup will be Auburn’s first and only road test before opening SEC play at Arkansas in Bud-Walton Arena, one of the loudest in college hoops.
“That’s why we scheduled it,” said Pearl referring to the App State game. “To have that test and to have that environment. It will really elevate the level of Appalachian State’s play.”
Looking on the Auburn side, the Tigers will obviously look for Junior center Johni Broome to be a big force in the paint, as he’s coming fresh off of a 30-point double-double against Virginia Tech.
Auburn will also hope to get true Freshman guard Aden Holloway going, after a quiet statistical performance against the Hokies.
“I’ve seen Aden only care about winning,” said Pearl. “His own player development is important to him, but he’s doing anything he needs to do to improve, to adjust, to learn, [and] to get better.”
The anticipated matchup in the Appalachian Mountains is set for Sunday Afternoon, as Auburn heads up North as seven point favorites. Tip off is set for 12:00 p.m. CT and can be streamed live on ESPN2 as well as broadcasted on the Auburn Sports Network.