July 16, 2007
Following is a transcript of Auburn head basketball coach Jeff Lebo during the SEC Coaches Teleconference July 16, 2007:
Q: What does the new building mean to Auburn's program?
Coach Lebo: I think this is a monumental step for the basketball program here at Auburn. All the coaches that have been here have fought for a true commitment to Auburn basketball. The announcement of the new arena makes a huge statement of commitment. When you pour $93-94 million into a basketball arena, we believe there is a commitment there from our administrative people and president. This is going to put our basketball program on the map. It*s an exciting time, and we want it to be here quickly. We don't have a whole lot of patience in coaching, but we*re obviously very excited about having the new facilities. You just can't get it here quick enough.
Q: Will this arena help Auburn stay competitive against the teams
they're playing against on a daily basis?
Coach Lebo: Well, you've got to have the facilities. Kids want to play in nice facilities. Our supporters want better facilities to watch games in. Not only from a recruiting standpoint, but looking at it from a fan standpoint, you want fans to be comfortable in the atmosphere of the games. You want them to have good seats and enjoy the game. You want to create an atmosphere that they would want to come back to. It's one of those constant things that I don*t see going away. Therefore, you have to stay up-to-date with practice facilities, locker facilities, office facilities and other amenities.
Q: With the new facility and the big time wins and sweeping, what does
this mean toward trying to keep building that program?
Coach Lebo: We came in a very difficult situation and had a massive rebuilding situation. We were dealing with probation, and everything that could go wrong did in about two years. We worked hard here to get it stable, and we started a lot of young kids here. We started four freshmen in year two. These guys are starting to get better, starting to understand, to mature, to get bigger and to get stronger. We have everyone back form a team that beat five top 25 teams at one point in the season. We need to have some consistency this year, and the team last year did not have two of our best players for I think 20 games in Josh Dollard and Quan Prowell. I am excited to have a team this year that has some returning juniors and seniors. So I sit here a little bit more comfortable than I have in the past.
Q: Do you feel like the experiences for Quantez Robertson and Frank
Tolbert along with a healthy Josh Dollard and Quan Prowell can give you
what you need to compete again for an SEC title?
Coach Lebo: I hope so, who knows what is going to happen in the league. We are getting better. My first two years here everybody in America was calling me to play them. I haven*t received that many calls this year. That is usually a good indication that you are getting a little bit better.
Q: There have been two eighth-graders that have committed to colleges,
and I was wondering what you thought about it and what kind of player
you were in eighth grade.
Coach Lebo: I was pretty good in eighth grade, but I couldn*t have made a decision about where I was going to go to college. It is interesting, but it is very hard to tell. Some guys get better, some don*t. Some guys grow, some don*t. It is hard to tell for me that early. Some guys you can tell are going to be special. I wouldn*t do it as a eighth- or ninth-grader unless it was your dream that you had always dreamed of going.