Chuma Okeke has shown many glimpses of greatness throughout the season, but right now Auburn, needs him to help make up for the injured Austin Wiley.
Okeke added 16 points as well as four rebounds in the Tigers' loss to Miss State as he continues to work his way out of his SEC slump from earlier in the year. He shot 3-for-5 from 3-point range and 6-for-10 from the floor.
Auburn benefits immensely from a reliable third source offensively since its game performance weighs heavily on the hot hands of the versatile backcourt duo of Bryce Brown and Jared Harper.
Recently, Okeke has been just that. The 16 points tied his SEC career-high at Auburn, and the sophomore from Atlanta has now scored in double figures in his past four outings, averaging 12.5 points per game during that stretch.
Early in the SEC season, Okeke struggled to establish consistent scoring in the paint, and his rebounding was lackluster. But since the Texas A&M, Okeke has returned to his form from the first few weeks of the season.
With much of the focus being on Brown and Harper, sometimes with one of them even being double-teamed, Okeke has the opportunity to get multiple open looks on the perimeter, evident in his wide-open look for a possible game-winner against South Carolina.
Auburn is coming up on a three-game home stretch consisting of Missouri, Alabama, and Florida. Auburn is known for playing well at home and living up to the high expectations of their erupting home crowd.
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After falling to 2-4 in conference play, Auburn could use a sweep of these home games to revive itself in the SEC rankings.
"We've got six out of our next eight games at home." said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. "Just get the next one. I'm more concerned with the process. I'm more concerned with our defense than how many games we've lost. The locker room is fine."
The Tigers will look to prove themselves against Missouri on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. CST on SEC Network.
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