Oct. 11, 2007
AUBURN----Auburn and fourth-year head coach Jeff Lebo open basketball practice for the 2007-08 season Friday in the hot box keyed by the return of all eight players who started last season.
Five of the starters averaged double-digit points in addition to junior Quantez Robertson, who has started all 60 games of his collegiate career. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native has dished out more assists in his first two seasons at Auburn than any other Tiger in history with 293.
"We have a high expectation," said Lebo. "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, it 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 necessary things."
The veteran team with three seniors and four juniors is led by junior Josh Dollard, who led the Tigers in both scoring (12.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg). In Auburn's last five games, the Hemingway, S.C., native averaged 15.6 points while shooting 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.
Senior Quan Prowell averaged 12.0 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range. The Columbus, Ga., native scored a career-high 26 points (20 in the second half), making 5-of-6 three-pointers, at Ole Miss in the regular season finale.
Senior Frank Tolbert, averaged 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds last year while junior Korvotney Barber totaled 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks while shooting 61 percent from the field and recording six double-doubles on the season. Junior Rasheem Barrett averaged 11.0 points and 3.9 rebounds while sophomore and 2007 Freshman All-SEC DeWayne Reed chipped in 5.4 points and 3.0 assists. Sophomore Lucas Hargrove had 18 points in Auburn's final game of its summer tour of Cancun, Mexico, and freshman Boubacar Sylla at 7-foot-1 is the tallest player in Auburn history.
"We have a chance to be a lot better," said Robertson. "The whole team believes we can make it (to the NCAA Tournament), and that is the type of attitude we have to go into the season with. 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
The Tigers will play 16 games against teams that reached postseason play a year ago, including nine against NCAA Tournament teams. Three non-conference foes played in the NCAA Tournament including home games against Xavier and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as well as Auburn playing George Washington in the BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C. The Tigers also play NIT participant West Virginia in the Pizza Hut Big East-SEC Invitational in Birmingham Dec. 5.
Auburn plays its only exhibition game Nov. 1 against Bluefield College before opening the season at Tulane Nov. 9. The Tigers home opener is against Kennesaw State Nov. 13 in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Season tickets for the 15 home games are $180 while single-game adult tickets are $10 for non-conference games and $15 for SEC games except for the Alabama and Kentucky games, which are $20.
Two mini-SEC ticket packages for $50 each will be available Dec. 3 with the Orange pack consisting of the Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi State games and the Blue pack consisting of the Kentucky, LSU, South Carolina and Ole Miss games. The exhibition game is free.
Holiday Game student section seats for NON-STUDENTS are $5 each for the Mercer, Alabama A&M, Towson, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Xavier games. The Family Fun Zone for upper sections 17-26 are $7 each and are available for all SEC home games except for the Alabama and Kentucky games. Fun Zone tickets consisting of 311 seats are sold on game day only at the box office. Group tickets of 20 or more tickets are available for $5 each for all games except for Alabama and Kentucky with a required advance purchase. Please call 334.844.4040 or 1.800.AUB.1957 for ticket information or visit www.auburntigers.com.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, Contact: Chuck Gallina (334) 844-9800 October 10, 2007