Aug. 7, 2007
AUBURN - Auburn basketball concluded 10-straight days of
practice Tuesday in preparation for its three-game, six-day basketball
tour of Cancun, Mexico, Wednesday through Monday. NCAA rules allow only
Auburn"s returning players to make the trip.
"We have had a good 10 days of practice," said head coach
Jeff Lebo. "It has been interesting because we haven"t had a day
off. We have lower numbers so they haven"t had a break. I thought
today"s practice was pretty good and was competitive.
"The thing that I have noticed this year more than anything is
that everything has been pretty competitive which has made the juices
flow. The kids want to win in every drill. They are getting after each
other pretty good so that makes us all get better in practice. I thnk
they are ready after 10 days to see someone else. We got a lot done,
and it will be interesting to see how we play against other faces down
Auburn will play three games against teams in the Mexican Liga
Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional beginning Thursday vs. Quintana Roo
Pioneros followed by Selection Quintana Roo Friday and a second game vs.
Quintana Roo Pioneros Saturday. All three games begin at 7 pm Central.
The Pioneros played Team Mexico, which is coached by former
Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, July 27-29 as part of Team Mexico"s
training for the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas Aug. 22-Sept.
2. The tournament qualifies two teams for the 2008 Olympic Games in
The Pioneers open their Mexican Liga Nacional de Baloncesto
Profesional schedule Sept. 6. Playing for the Pioneros will be local
stars Cesar Campos and Mauricio Ramos along with Tomas Rios, Oswaldo
Guzman, Miguel Ojeda and Enrique Baños.
The Tigers leave Auburn at 3:45 am Wednesday before flying from
Atlanta to Cancun. The team will practice later that afternoon.
"Everybody has been going good, but we are a little tired
after practicing for 10 straight days," said junior Korvotney Barber.
"We have progressed from last year and are looking forward to going to
Cancun. It is going to be a lot of fun, and we are ready to work hard
down there and play well. It will be good to see how much we have
improved since last season.
"We have been doing well in practice, and it will be
interesting to see how we play once game-time comes. Everybody is a lot
stronger, more mature and is making better decisions than last year. It
will be good to go to Cancun."
The Tigers will tour the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, 82 miles south of
Cancun, Thursday morning. Tulum is one of the most beautiful cities of
the Mayan culture with the most spectacular view of the Mexican
Caribbean. The city of Tulum is the only known archeological site
located by the sea and was constructed at the top of a cliff facing the
blue sea and has the world"s second-largest coral reef.
The following two-and-a-half days in Mexico are only basketball
for the Tigers as they play their games against the country"s
professional teams. The team will close out its trip with a tour of
Isla Mujeres, a small, calm island located to the north of Cancun on
Sunday. Isla Mujeres combines the beauty of the Caribbean, the dense
tropical jungle and the wonderful heritage of the Maya civilization. It
stands out as one of Mexico"s natural treasures.
This is the fourth foreign tour Auburn has experienced, going to
Spain in 2001; France, Germany and The Netherlands in 1997; and Israel