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February 25, 2013

Barbee: Break “definitely could have helped”

AUBURN, Ala. — With the addition of two new league members, the SEC adjusted its men’s basketball schedule, adding two conference dates to fill out an 18-game league slate.

That meant no more bye week for any teams, no more chance to take more than three days off in between hitting the hardcourt against an SEC foe. In Auburn’s case, the Tigers have been in action every Wednesday and every Saturday for the past seven weeks without a lull.

Head coach Tony Barbee suggested on Monday’s SEC coaches conference call he’d like to see a bye week reinstated, which he believes would benefit everybody – not just the teams languishing in or around last place.

“Obviously, we had it our first couple years here, we had it every year in Conference USA, and I think every league pretty much has that down week in the middle of league play,” Barbee said. “Whether you’re a team struggling like us or the hottest team in the league, I think that bye week is always big to let everybody recharge their batteries and try to finish out strong. With no bye week this year, you get in a rut, and we’re struggling to get out of it.

“I think having a bye week like we’ve had in the past definitely could have helped.”

Auburn (9-18, 3-11 SEC) is mired in its second 5-game losing streak during conference play. The Tigers hit the practice court this afternoon before traveling to take on in-state rival Alabama (18-9, 10-4) in a Tuesday night tipoff at 7 p.m. ET, televised by ESPNU.

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