Auburn's Josh Dollard and Coach John Cooper at practice.
Oct. 21, 2006
AUBURN----The Auburn veterans and freshmen have meshed well as the Tigers concluded their first week of basketball practice for the 2006-07 season under third-year head coach Jeff Lebo Saturday in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
"It has been a good start to practice," Lebo said. "It is nice to have some veterans out here, and for the first time, they know what we are doing. In the past, we had new guys and then we had freshmen. That's been nice. After a week of practice, the new guys are learning that this isn't high school anymore, and that it is demanding every day that we come out here.
"We did some simple offensive things and put some set plays in. We learned a couple of defenses that we are going to run. We are still in the early stages of practice with them getting comfortable. Now, you start adding in thinking, and they have been playing at a fast pace in pickup without thinking. When you think and try to play at a pace you want, you need to take it slow a little bit. The older guys have a better understanding of how to play at the pace we want while thinking. The younger guys are just trying to get in the right spots."
Since practice began Oct. 13, the Tigers went through workouts each day except for Sunday. The Tigers' first exhibition game is less than two weeks away on Nov. 3 against Faulkner.
"It's early for a game," Lebo said. "We won't have everything in, and we probably won't show everything. It is still quite early. We are going to have to play freshmen in that so it could be a little ugly at times as it always is in the first exhibition game."
The Tigers are mixing together six veterans along with eight newcomers, including six freshmen.
"Practice is going real well after looking back from the first day," said Rasheem Barrett, one of two Tigers along with Quantez Robertson to be selected to the Freshman All-SEC team last year. "The freshmen are catching on real fast and are learning plays and what they need to do. They are beginning to understand the mental and physical part of it. I am very excited. These freshmen have really showed me something. They have shown the people returning from last year something. We really think we can go a long way."
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.