Indiana Hoosiers vs. Auburn Tigers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 9th 2023

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Indiana and Auburn will be looking to boost their non-conference credentials against NCAA Tournament-caliber foes when they meet on a neutral court Saturday in Atlanta.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl has a deep team that revolves around Johni Broome, a 6-foot-10 junior center, who leads the Tigers with 18.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, and a pressure defense.

Pearl’s offense features five perimeter players who average more than seven points, led by freshman point guard Aden Holloway (10.6 ppg, 15-for-43 on 3-pointers).

“I think we could have 10 guys playing for 20 minutes,” Pearl said. “I could go with these five guys and be fine, or I could go with these other five guys and be fine, too.”

The Tigers (5-2) are averaging 78.6 points per game while allowing 65.4, but they are only making 29.6 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Auburn is coming off a 69-64 loss to Appalachian State in which it missed 24 of 27 attempts from behind the arc.

Coach Mike Woodson’s Indiana team likely will continue its tactic of taking the ball to the rim.

The Hoosiers (7-1) have yet to make more than four 3-pointers in a game this season, sinking three each in back-to-back Big Ten wins over Maryland and Michigan to begin this month.

Seven-footer Kel’el Ware leads Indiana with 17.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and he’s joined in the frontcourt by Malik Reneau (14.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and Mackenzie Mgbako (8.4 ppg).

Trey Galloway (9.1 ppg) handles the point for the Hoosiers. Sixth-year guard Xavier Johnson is questionable against Auburn with a lower leg injury.

“I’m concerned about every team we play, not just Auburn,” Woodson said. “They do a lot of good things. Competition is good, gentlemen. … So Auburn’s next.”

The game is the second ever between the two schools. The last time, the Bobby Knight-coached Hoosiers beat Auburn 107-90 in the second round en route to winning the 1987 NCAA Tournament.

–Field Level Media

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