AUBURN, Ala. — Bryce Brown played an important role in Auburn basketball’s home win over Georgia in January, but he might not get that chance again this weekend.
The junior guard sank 5 of 9 3-point attempts and scored 28 points in about 30 minutes against the Bulldogs on Jan. 20, lifting Bruce Pearl’s team to a 14-point win in Auburn Arena.
Now Auburn is getting ready to travel to Athens for another meeting with the Bulldogs, and the Tigers are preparing without their leading scorer after he suffered a shoulder strain on a failed dunk attempt in Auburn’s 1-point loss to Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
Auburn updated the status of Brown, which was at first unclear on Thursday afternoon. Brown will travel to Athens on Saturday, but remains questionable or the game.
“Bryce Brown will be evaluated today, a little later on this morning,” Pearl said initially on Thursday. “He has not seen the doctor yet, he had class all morning, and so he still has a left shoulder sprain. He will not practice today and we’ll probably, we may have some more information later today or tomorrow.”
Brown, who averages 16.6 points per game, left the game with about 4 minutes remaining in the first half and remained sidelined as his team fell to the visiting Aggies in the final minute of the mid-week game. Immediately after the loss, Pearl was quick to blame it on execution rather than officiating or Brown’s absence.
With Brown out, Auburn couldn’t muster another comeback win. The Tigers connected on only three 3-point attempts in the second half, courtesy of Mustapha Heron, Anfernee McLemore and Desean Murray.
Even with Brown’s status nuclear, Auburn is eager to get back on track at Georgia this weekend.
“There’s a chance we won’t have him,” Pearl said. “Well, we have eight scholarship guys now if he doesn’t play. We’re good. We’ll just play — Staph plays more. Davion plays more. Malik plays more. Jared plays — we have four guards that are still in position to be able to play. They just have to share the load and that’s what we would do.”
Auburn (21-3, 9-2 SEC) is still atop the conference standings and holds a 1-game lead over Tennessee. Tipoff at Georgia on Saturday is set for 3:30 p.m. ET/ 2:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.