AUBURN — Bryce Brown’s status for Auburn games in the near future is still unknown following a severe shoulder injury Wednesday night.
Brown will be evaluated by medical staff before being cleared for contact again for a practice setting or a game.
In the 81-80 loss to Texas A&M, Brown suffered a shoulder strain with 5:14 remaining in the first half on a dunk attempt. Brown, the fifth-leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference at 17 points a game, was removed from the game nearly two minutes later and went to the locker room almost immediately with the Auburn training staff.
“Shoulder strain — he’s pretty sore, so he obviously will need to go through some tests … to see what he has,” Pearl said after the loss Wednesday night.
An Auburn spokesperson confirmed Thursday afternoon that Brown "is day-to-day with a shoulder strain" but will travel with the team when Auburn, ranked No. 8 by Associated Press and No. 9 in the USA Today coaches poll, plays at Georgia on Saturday afternoon.
The 6-foot-3 guard leads Auburn in scoring (17 ppg), 3-point percentage (41.6) and minutes played per game (31.4) while pacing the Tigers to a 21-3 mark and a one-game lead in the Southeastern Conference standings with a 9-2 league record.
Brown, who finished with just seven points in 15 minutes of action Wednesday night, returned to the bench in his warmup suit and what appeared to be an ice pack on his right shoulder. In his absence, Brown’s minutes were mostly occupied by Malik Dunbar. The junior college transfer is averaging just 13.9 minutes a game in a reserve role but is shooting 42.5 percent from the field.
If Brown is unable to play Saturday afternoon when Auburn travels to Stegeman Coliseum for a road test at Georgia (13-10, 4-7), Pearl could choose to give freshman Davion Mitchell his first career start, but the 6-foot-1 guard has failed to score in each of the last four games he’s played.
“Our bench has got to play better and do more. I have always said when we go to our bench, we don't drop off,” Pearl said Wednesday night. “That’s not becoming the case here lately, so I know our bench can play better. That’s what makes us. That’s what makes us the team that we are. We go nine deep, and we don't drop off when we go to our bench.”