Oct. 28, 2006
AUBURN - With less than one week before its first exhibition game, the Auburn basketball team is continuing to progress but has been slowed by an unfortunate injury. Freshman guard Kelvin Lewis, who was in the running for a starting position, could be out six weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot.
"It was a hard week with a full week of practice," head coach Jeff Lebo said. "We started to put more things in. We had an injury to Kelvin Lewis. I feel bad for him because he was doing really well. We are starting to trim practice down a little bit because our numbers are not great.
"We have had some injuries. Larry Williams and another walk-on, Ryan Brooks, have been out. Our numbers are getting down so we have to cut back a little bit with practice. We put in some set plays. We're putting in man-to-man defense and getting our transition game in order."
The veterans have provided excellent leadership, and the newcomers are adjusting much better. With two weeks of practice already in, Lebo is liking what he is seeing as he begins his third season at Auburn.
"Quantez Robertson has been good, and Korvotney Barber has been good," said Lebo. "I like what Rasheem Barrett has been doing in practice. Those guys haven't been hurt and have been through it and have been busting their hump pretty good. You expect that from your captains. Those three guys have done a nice job for us.
"Of the freshmen, Kelvin was the one who stuck out as far as who was doing the best job. It is going to hurt us even more with our limitations early having him out. DeWayne Reed has made some strides in the last couple of days. I have been pretty pleased with Archie Miaway's understanding of how to play the game. I've been real pleased with Frank Tolbert, too.
"We have had changes now because of our numbers and have had to move guys around into different positions, which is frustrating because it takes them away from their natural position because they have to be a backup here and a backup there if something happens. That is taking a little bit more time because of our lack of numbers."
After taking Sunday off, Auburn will practice Monday through Thursday leading into the Tigers' first exhibition game Nov. 3 against Faulkner at 7 pm.
"It is coming too fast for a game," Lebo said. "We are just not ready for a game yet. I would feel better if we had all of our upperclassmen. I know they would be ready. The freshmen are excited to guard somebody different, but that will be a test for them to see how they perform when they turn on the lights in a game situation. We are still not ready to play as far as having everything prepared.
"It's early for a game. 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."
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.