Jeff Lebo (above) and Quantez Robertson talk about the upcoming 2007-08 season.
Quoting Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo
On Auburn's expectation levels for 2007-08
"We have a high expectation. It is probably the highest since I have been here with the veteran, experienced team that we have coming back. With the way we finished last year, obviously gives us a reason to be optimistic. It's the first time really in a long time that I have had some experienced players coming back that we feel good each night that we have a chance if we do the things necessary. In this league, you never feel comfortable. I feel more confident, but you never feel comfortable because the league is so good. It is nice when we had the 10 days of practice when we went to Cancun to have veteran players out there to start practice with. You have less teaching. We only have one guy this year that we really have to teach a lot to and that is our big freshmen (Boubacar Sylla)."
What did the Cancun trip do for team?
"It gave our guys a chance to play who haven't really played much. Like a Lucas Hargrove, it really helped. He didn't play a whole lot for us last year, but he had a chance to play a lot of minutes (in Cancun). He played very well and he gained some confidence.
DeWayne Reed had 10 very good days of practice and then had the unlucky break of his foot. He's been out and we expect him to be about 85 percent when we start practice. The 10 days of practice were good for DeWayne Reed even though he didn't get a chance to play as much as he wanted to play. For the guys who didn't get a chance to play a lot, it really helped. It also helped us in getting into an environment that wasn't ideal and having to play in tough conditions in an extremely hot gym with not a lot of people, with the rims bent over and the ball not feeling good. The court was slick and all kinds of stuff were going on, and you having to play through that adversity will hopefully be helpful to us."
On anyone missing practice
"Archie Miaway has been out for about three weeks and he is going to be sitting the first semester anyway because of academic issues, but he is the only one with the knee problem who has been out. We are hoping to get him back for practice in the next couple of days."
Quoting Junior Guard Quantez Robertson
On being a veteran
"Three years, and I've played every game and haven't missed a practice so I'm starting to feel pretty old."
Is there a different attitude with the team this year hoping to go to postseason?
"It has been like this since we all stepped on campus. It is just a team not clicking together , really. This season, we had 10 good days of practice before we went to Cancun and that really helped us out a little bit more. This season, it is going to be a lot better."
On the young players
"DeWayne Reed came in and contributed right away. When Lucas (Hargrove) got in, he was a little anxious, and he needs to slow it down a little bit. The rest of the players , they need to let the game come to them and not try to do too much."
What was the Cancun trip like?
"It was real fun. We went out there and played hard and had a little bit of time to ourselves to hang out and bond with the team."
On the gym in Cancun
"As soon as we all walked in, we started sweating. As the game went on, it felt like you stepped right out of a swimming pool. It was so hot in there. It was slippery, and it was just something we had to get used to. It wasn't the worst and it wasn't the best."
On the team coming together on a trip like that
"It does a heck of a lot for us being that we are not at home or at our school and we are out of town. You have to rely on each other a lot more since you are out of town and out of the country."
How much better is Auburn going to be this year?
"We have a chance to be a lot better being that we have everyone starting the season off as in previous years, we didn't have everybody at the beginning of the season."
Would it be a disappointment if Auburn didnt go to the NCAA Tournament?
"Yes in my eyes, I believe so. The whole team believes we can make it, and that is the type of attitude we have to go into the season with."