Oct. 12, 2006
AUBURN---- Auburn begins its second century of basketball with the first practice of the 2006-07 season Friday in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum followed by the Jeff Lebo Late Night 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament at 9 p.m. Central.
The Tigers return five starters in junior Frank Tolbert (9.1 ppg) and sophomores Rasheem Barrett (11.1 ppg), Josh Dollard (9.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Quantez Robertson (8.0 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Korvotney Barber (6.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg). Eight newcomers, including six freshmen, will be going through their first collegiate practice.
"The kids are excited about getting ready to start practice," said Lebo. "You always have a lot of enthusiasm the first couple of practices. We have been lifting and have been doing individual work so it will be a little bit different for them.
"It is nice this year to be able to start with some experienced guys. This is the first year since I have been here to at least know what to expect from some players. We will have some experienced guys even though there are no seniors and a few juniors on the roster. I hope we will be able to move a little quicker through some things than we were able to last year."
Without a senior on the roster and only having three juniors, the Tigers will be looking for leadership. Tolbert is the only junior with playing experience at Auburn while Robertson and Barrett were both selected to the Coaches Freshman All-SEC team last season.
"Going into practice this year, we know what to expect and how hard we need to work to be able to help the freshmen," Barrett said. "I believe last year when we stepped on the court as freshmen, we were learning on the job. We all took a lot in. We are going into this year motivated and knowing what it takes to win."
The single-elimination 3-on-3 tournament, which will begin once the Tigers' first practice is over, will continue into the night until a winner is crowned. The teams consist of Auburn students, faculty and staff with the winning team earning a chance to play a final game against Lebo and the Auburn basketball coaching staff for the right to travel with the Tigers to a road game this season.
Following a pair of free exhibition games Nov. 3 vs. Faulkner and Nov. 7 vs. AUM, Auburn opens the season at home Nov. 10 against Troy. Auburn basketball season tickets are on sale for the 20-game home portion of the schedule for $205. Non-conference individual game tickets are $10 and Southeastern Conference game tickets are $15 except for the Florida and Alabama games, which are $20.
The Tigers will play host to eight NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago including defending national champion Florida, Final Four LSU, Pittsburgh and Texas A&M. Please call 334.844.4040 or 1.800.AUB.1957 for ticket information or visit www.auburntigers.com.