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Chris Denson’s Dunk is Just What Auburn Needs

Auburn basketball defeated the Tennessee Technological University Golden Eagles by a score of 81-62 last night in front of a slightly embellished (I’m sure) attendance of 4,323. If you were listening to the game, or following along on Twitter, you probably were aware of Chris Denson’s “posterizing” of one the TTU players late in the first half. If not, watch it below:

Why was Auburn’s football team so good in 2010? Yes, it was mainly because of Cam Newton and Gus Malzahn as a dynamic duo, but it was also because that team had swagger. They knew they were going to win. They knew they were better than the other team. It started from Cam and trickled all the way down.

Denson’s dunk last night reminded me of that a little bit. It showed swagger. It showed that Auburn basketball wasn’t a three ring circus as it has appeared at times. Yes, it was against Tennessee Tech, and yes Auburn is just now 5-5, but Auburn’s record with Denson in the lineup is 3-0 with three wins by margins that you would expect from an SEC team playing a much lesser opponent. They actually look like a real basketball team right now.

In past seasons, Auburn lacked confidence, size, swagger, and anything else a basketball team needs. It bred negativity and it bred bad luck. Had Denson gone for that dunk last year, it was more likely that it clanged off the back of the rim and flew all the way into the opponent’s basket than actually go in Auburn’s basket. A change has come.

Denson was ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester, so he wasn’t able to join until the Grambling State game last week. Auburn scored 65 points — in the 2nd half — and won 92-42. Again, this was against a lesser team, but earlier this season and for the past few seasons, Auburn has struggled against those lesser teams. As I said, they look like a real basketball team right now.

Not only was this just some dunk that was talked about on Twitter, but it was also the #1 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10 of the day. When is the last time anyone saw anything positive from Auburn men’s basketball on a national level. 2003?

It doesn’t just stop at Denson’s positive impact, Auburn also has a freshman in Jordan Price that currently holds a tie for the most consecutive 3-pointers made in the SEC at 11. He has done so over a span of three games. The national record is 15, which he could pass in Saturday’s game against Winthrop (a team Auburn played in the NCAA tournament during the glory year of 1998-1999).

Strangely enough, all of this new positivity has come while Frankie Sullivan has contributed very little offensive production the last three games. Adding a playmaker like Denson is obviously going to take some time to get used to for other playmakers like Sullivan, but once that happens, look out. NIT 2nd round here we come.

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Brandon 12/19/2012 at 10:31 am

Amazingly happy to see someone care about Auburn basketball! Probably get about 18-20 wins this year. War Eagle!

NickP 12/19/2012 at 11:30 am

Glad to see Auburn coming together offensively somewhat…having Denson back has been a huge boost. If we can get Denson, Frankie and Jordan Price all hot at once — and who knows, maybe even Rob Chubb (!) — maybe this team can make some noise in SEC play.

We’ll see vs. Illinois on Dec. 29th if we’ve really improved from the start of the season debacle.

AUjamstan 12/19/2012 at 3:58 pm

They played DePaul tough. I grew up an ACC BB fan but I like what Coach Barbee is doing with this team. And for the record, that wasn’t just some dunk talked about on Twitter. That dunk blew up Twitter and ESPN! You nailed it Blogle, that dunk got the attention of Auburn Nation in the same manner a bolt of lightning gets your attention. Now watch the trickle effect as the swag starts to build in a program that has tremendous upside and very little downside. Yes, there were some Monster Dunks last year and one shot does not make a season, but I’m telling you it was lightning and his teammates, the AU Jungle, ESPN and Auburn Nation took notice and that means something. Let’s hope it’s something special. War Eagle!

JR Marcus 12/21/2012 at 4:03 pm

I think we all miss the days of Barkley…heck even the days of Chris Porter and Damion Fishback…I think this year’s team can definitely make the tournament


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