Auburn visited Hilton Coliseum Monday for the Big 12-SEC Challenge. The most famous Tiger hoops alum, Charles Barkley, wasn’t in the house.
For those who don’t recognize the name, Barkley was a 6-6 superstar for the Tigers. As a collegian, Barkley averaged better than 9.5 rebounds a game for three straight years. But, he never reached the 20-rebound plateau in a game at Auburn.
Nicknamed the “Round Mound of Rebound”, Barkley’s NBA career was stellar. He had 20 or more rebounds 46 times, including a career-best 33 vs. Boston in 1996.
Barkley certainly came to mind Monday night while watching a 6-foot-6 Cyclone rebounding machine (no, not Melvin Ejim, the reigning Big 12 rebounding champ) get on the boards.
Dustin Hogue reached double figures for rebounds with 8½ left in the first half. That’s when folks started checking the record books. That’s when you starting wondering if he could corral 20 boards.
In just his sixth game as a Cyclone, Hogue did his best Barkley imitation gathering 16 rebounds and scoring 22 points (both career highs) in a 27-point Cyclone victory.
Hogue is no Barkley. Physically, the Cyclone jumping jack weighs 37 pounds less than what Barkley was listed at during his college career.
Barkley played bigger than his height and normally won the battle against taller players. Hogue does the same.
“If you play hard, things go your way,” Hogue told the Cyclone Radio Network’s Eric Heft after the Auburn game. “The tougher guy always wins.”
Hogue’s toughness was on full display on ESPNU. If Barkley was watching his alma mater, he would have been impressed.