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.