Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers failed to live up to expectations in the 2015-16 season in the SEC. There was a high level of optimism surrounding the program, but they were never able to live to the expectations.
Kareem Canty, who transferred to Auburn after an impressive freshman campaign with the Marshall Thundering Herd back in 2013-14, didn’t pan out with the program. He was suspended from the team and then declared for the 2016 NBA Draft early, ending his collegiate eligibility.
Heading towards the 2016-17 season, Pearl and the Tigers were looking to add some pieces that could either help them immediately, or in the future.
On Monday, they gained a commitment from a graduate transfer who can bolster their front court this season.
The snowstorm that has taken control over the East Coast of the United States caused the game between the visiting Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the host Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks to be be pushed up to 2:30pm EST. It was a crucial game for both teams in terms of the MEAC title race, and the fans who made it to Hytche Arena were treated to a contest that came right down to the wire.
Both the Wildcats and the Hawks held sizeable leads in the second half, but neither were able to hold onto things. Back and forth the teams went, setting up for an exciting finish to the game.
In close games, stars are supposed to step up. For the hometown Hawks, Devin Martin answered the call in the final minute to send the home crowd home happy.
Last season, the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats were in different positions in the MEAC standings. The Hawks finished in 3rd place after the regular season, while the Wildcats were a middle-of-the-pack team.
This season, the Wildcats come into Saturday afternoon’s showdown with the Hawks at 3-2 in MEAC play, sitting in a tie for 5th spot. As for the Hawks, they come in with a 1-4 record, and already have more losses this season (16) than they did all of last year (15).
Saturday afternoon’s game was moved up to 2pm EST to account for the impending winter storm that is threatening the East Coast. Inside Hytche Arena, both the Wildcats and the Hawks will look for a crucial conference win to help push them up in the standings.
The hometown Hawks are still looking to regain the form they had last season, and will look to get some of their star players back on the right track. As for the Wildcats, a win would put them even closer to the top of the conference, and get them another step closer to the .500 mark on the year.
The 2015-16 college basketball regular season is in full swing, and what a season it has been already. Night in and night out, any team is truly capable of knocking off anyone, making the season that much more exciting. Upsets have been aplenty this season, and more are bound to come over the course of the 2015-16 season.
Each day, we will hand out some awards for the top three individual performances from the night before. They could be freshmen or experienced seniors, and they could come from the smallest mid-major programs or the top teams in the country. Each night, there are big performances that are critical for their respective teams.