AUBURN – The Auburn Tigers do not officially tip off their season until next week, but they play an exhibition game against the Auburn-Montgomery Warhawks on Wednesday night inside Neville Arena.

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl addressed the media on Monday to preview the exhibition as well as the upcoming season.

Pearl opened up by acknowledging Auburn head football coach Hugh Freeze getting his first conference win.

"It's great to see Coach (Freeze)," Pearl said. "I'm happy for his locker room, I'm happy for his staff, I'm happy for the Auburn Family."

Pearl talked about how Auburn-Montgomery could present a challenge for his team and mentioned how Auburn-Montgomery beat Auburn in 2006. He then discussed what he saw from his team in the private scrimmage they played earlier this week.

"We played really hard and we played well," Pearl said. "We were excited about playing somebody else and I think that'll be the case again on Wednesday."

Pearl talked about the new additions to the team and what they have brought to the table.

"The formula remains the same," Pearl said. "I keep promising my returning players that I'm going to bring guys into the locker room that they are going to want to be friends with and that they're going to want to play with and try to win championships with."

Pearl has mentioned previously that he had not set a starting lineup. That does not appear to have changed.

"I think with this group it's got a chance to be combinations," Pearl said. "Should Jaylin Williams and Dylan Cardwell play together? Should Chaney Johnson and Johni Broome play together and for whatever reason we like that combination as opposed to our starting five? Our starting five may not end the game."

Senior forward Chris Moore is expected to be a leader on this team. Pearl talked about what he had seen from him.

"Chris (Moore) missed the entire summer with that shoulder surgery," Pearl said. "He was away from the skills aspect of it, shooting, the ball handling, things like that while he was rehabbing. He's done a great job this fall of getting caught up. Chris (Moore) at the three gives us a more physical presence."

Pearl talked about the defensive struggle he has seen from the backcourt.

"That's gonna be our greatest challenge, our guards guarding their guards," Pearl said. "All I can say is they're working at it. We recognize the challenge because the quality of the people we're gonna be playing against."

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Auburn will officially get the season underway against the Baylor Bears on November 7 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The game is set for 8 p.m. CT, and ESPN will carry the broadcast.

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