Per this release from the athletics department, here's what the Pack's tournament schedule will look like: Georgia State (date TBA), Akron (Friday, 11/20, at 3:30 PM), Austin Peay (Saturday, 11/21, at 8:15 PM), Auburn (Sunday, 11/22, at 8:15 PM). A glance at each:
Georgia State -- How they ranked last season in 3FG%, 2FG%, and FT%: 268th, 238th, 331st, respectively. But their donations did allow for the construction of a new on-campus library. They will return their primary contributors from a year ago--a pair of guards--which is either good or bad depending on how you want to look at it.
Akron -- Some nails-on-chalkboard potential here: the Zips ranked 33rd nationally in eFG% defense and 6th in defensive TO%. Turnovers appear to be one of the bigger keys, since Akron's D is terrible in the other two factors. So a good number of second chance opportunities and FTAs should be available to the Pack if they can keep the mistakes under control. (I forsee 8-10 FTAs for Tracy alone.)
Austin Peay -- They were a defensive disaster last season, and they'll be without the point-producing services of Drake Reed, who was outstanding: he shot 58.2% from the field despite a heavy workload. It was a short team--287th in effective height--and it shows: they ranked 299th in eFG% defense. The biggest guy in their '09 rotation was just 6-7 215. Hope they found some help this off-season.
Auburn -- In SEC play last season, the Tigers had the league's fifth-best offense and second-best D, and the third-best overall efficiency margin. Despite the solid performance and a 10-6 record in conference play, they missed out on the NCAAs. They'll miss a couple of departing seniors but should still present a big challenge for the Wolfpack.
In other news...
-- Welcome to the show, Aaron Bates.
-- Richard Barron has been added to the women's basketball staff, and he looks like a great addition:
Barron spent the last two seasons as the Associate Head coach at Baylor. The Tennessee native was the recruiting coordinator for the Lady Bears that landed the consensus top-ranked player (Brittney Griner) and class of 2009.
Barron replaces Walter Mebane, who left after being on the job for less than two months.