Auburn boys learning, hoping to grow offense | Sports

(Auburn) — Auburn boys basketball sits at 3-2 while still trying to learn about themselves and grow their offense.

The Bulldogs have wins over Douglas County West, Elmwood-Murdock and Louisville. Their two losses came to Malcolm and Freeman.

Coach Jim Weeks points to their recent one-point loss to C2 No. 1 Freeman as a building block for this season.

“We played Freeman to a tough game,” Weeks said. “We could have won the game, but we learned a lot about our team. Every year you have a different team. I think we’ve done a lot of things well. I think we’re going to be really good.”

The Bulldogs returned some contributors from last year’s Class C1 state runner-up, but they also had some voids to fill.

“We’ve got to figure out the chemistry of our guys,” Weeks said. “We’ve played some good teams, so they’ve challenged us. We’ve learned a lot in the preparation. We’re just trying to learn about ourselves so we know what to work on.”

Maverick Binder — an All-State choice last year — leads the Bulldogs’ lineup.

“He’s getting comfortable running the show,” Weeks said. “He’s running our team well. He’s just got to be more consistent.”

Skyler Roybal, Nixon Ligouri, Payten Boden, Carson Leslie and Austin Lavigne also contribute to the Bulldogs lineup.

“We have about a six-guy rotation,” Weeks said. “The guys are doing a lot of nice things. We’re just trying to figure out our team.”

The Bulldogs’ typically frugal defense seems to be in midseason form. Auburn has held opponents to 31 points or less in their last four games.

“It’s a process of evaluating their players,” Weeks said. “Our guys are playing on and off the ball. And Carson Leslie is doing a tremendous job as a rim protector, and we haven’t had that.”

Offensively, Weeks wants to see more progression from his team.

“We spent the last three days polishing our offense,” Weeks said. “Sometimes we put our offense on the backburner. We’ve worked on what we want our guys to do. And I think we’re getting better.”

Auburn returns to action on Wednesday at Wayne State’s Northeast Nebraska Shootout. They face Winnebago in the first round of a loaded-tournament that also features Pierce, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Pender, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Wayne and Plainview. They open the 2023 portion of their season with a state championship rematch against Ashland-Greenwood, following a tilt with undefeated East Mills.

“We’ve got a big challenge for our next five or six games,” Weeks said. “We just have to be consistent, take great shots and defend like we usually defend.”

Click below to hear more with Coach Weeks.

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