3 questions for Auburn basketball in the 2023-24 season

As the exhibitions and scrimmages come to a close, Auburn basketball, led by head coach Bruce Pearl, is gearing up to kick off the 2023-24 season against Baylor on Tuesday.

Pearl is optimistic about the depth and scoring potential of the team, expressing aspirations for another successful run in March.

However, there are some lingering questions surrounding the team, which we will explore here.

Can Auburn Finally Break Through with 3-Pointers?

Auburn’s history of struggling with 3-pointers is evident, ranking among the lowest in the country in 3-point field goal percentage and attempts per game. This has been a persistent weakness that needs to be addressed for a winning season.

In response, the addition of Denver Jones, a transfer from FIU known for his 3-point shooting capabilities, aims to bolster Auburn’s scoring from beyond the arc.

Despite initial struggles in exhibitions, Pearl remains confident in the team’s shooting abilities and sees potential for improvement.

Jones’ performance hinges on the support of his teammates, with the goal of propelling Auburn’s offense to an elite level.

Defensive Minimum Standards for Auburn

While Auburn’s offense shows promise, concerns have been raised about the team’s defensive performance, prompting the need for improvement.

Pearl emphasized the urgency to address the inconsistent defense, highlighting it as a major area of focus.

Despite some lapses, Auburn’s defensive potential remains high, driven by a roster of capable athletes.

While Zep Jasper’s absence poses a challenge, there is confidence in the defensive abilities of key players like Jones and K.D. Johnson.

Auburn’s defensive success remains uncertain, but achieving a certain level of performance is crucial for the team’s postseason ambitions.

Assessing Auburn’s Non-Conference Path

Auburn faces a challenging non-conference schedule against a mix of NCAA Tournament-worthy teams, setting the stage for a critical period of testing and resume building.

With matchups against prominent teams like Baylor, USC, and Virginia Tech, Auburn aims to prove its capabilities and avoid detrimental losses.

The non-conference slate holds the key for Auburn to secure momentum, build confidence, and position itself for a successful SEC run.

Managing the difficult schedule and showcasing improvement will be pivotal in shaping Auburn’s path to the postseason.

Ultimately, a strong non-conference showing sets the stage for Auburn’s overall success in the coming months.

With a competitive SEC awaiting, Auburn aims to maximize its non-conference results to alleviate future pressures.

Matt Cohen covers Auburn sports for AL.com. Follow him on X at @Matt_Cohen_ or email him at [email protected]


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