A backup who has steadily improved since joining Auburn’s basketball team; Dylan Cardwell Israel’s under-20 national team had plenty of reasons to smile about their team’s exhibition victory in Jerusalem on Thursday.
The 6-10, 255-pounder opened the game as a starter, was a strong defensive tackle on the inside and contributed on both ends of the court. He contributed 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds in the team’s 117-56 victory.
“I want to thank everyone for missing shots,” said Cardwell, who had seven offensive rebounds and seven defensive rebounds.
“That was the first double-double of my life, I think. It was fun. Hopefully, not the last. I hope to continue.
“That’s my job to go out there and rebound, play defense and play with energy.” “Thank God and BP (coach Bruce Pearl) for putting me in a position to get a double-double.”
Cardwell’s previous high point total for the Tigers was 10, a total that came in games against Yale and Ole Miss. The highest rebounding total is eight against Kentucky.
Considering he only played 16 minutes, 23 seconds in a 40-minute contest, Cardwell’s numbers in the exhibition game are impressive. Auburn’s defense held them to 31.4 percent shooting from the field, hitting 6-9 on field goals and blocking 3 turnovers. Auburn shot 51.7 percent.
“We decided to be a very energetic, very excited team to play,” Cardell said of Auburn’s first three games on the Israel tour. “Once we achieved that, our energy picked up and we finished the game strong.
“We want to be the happiest team to play, and everything will take care of itself,” he added. “We had a lot of second chance points. We played hard, we played fast, we played tough.
Pearl Carwell said he is passionate about his faith and is relishing the opportunity to be in Jerusalem, which has great historical significance for Christianity and other religions.
“I got my love from God,” Cardell said. “First of all, I want to give all the glory to God. Just playing basketball was fun. It’s been a long time since we played as a team.
“I want to thank the fans of Israel,” he added. “They made it fun for both teams. It was just a flawless environment. I’ve never seen an environment like it. Everyone was happy to be there. I was happy to be there. It was fun.”
Cardwell and his teammates will do more sightseeing in the Jerusalem area before moving on to Tel Aviv for games against the Israel All-Stars on Sunday and the Israel National Team on Monday. Both contests will begin at noon CDT with scheduled television coverage on the SEC Network.
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