Basketball Schedule Features Western Teams

Auburn will be looking for a return to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament after a run into the Sweet 16 last season.

Auburn, Ala.--Three starters and 10 lettermen will be back for the 2003-2004 Auburn men's basketball season that will get an early start with the Tigers facing College of Charleston in the NABC Classic on Nov. 17 at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

The non-conference schedule has a definite western flavor with the Tigers playing teams from the Rocky Mountain region. The Tigers have home games vs. Colorado State, Air Force and Montana and will travel over the Rockies to the far west to take on UNLV at Las Vegas in December.

Newcomer Quinnel Brown, a 6-5 forward, dribbles the basketball vs. Lewis Monroe while Reggie Sharp watches in the background.

College of Charleston, which was 25-8 after advancing to the second round of the NIT last year, should provide a serious opening night test for the Tigers. The Cougars, a regular postseason team in recent years, won the prestigious Great Alaska Shootout title last season with victories over Wyoming, Oklahoma State and Villanova. The game is part of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Classic, which features games on campuses around the country.

Kyle Davis is expected to add to his school records for blocked shots.

Coach Cliff Ellis' Tigers will then play Western Kentucky in game two at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. The Hilltoppers handed Auburn one of its most lopsided losses last season, taking out the Tigers 89-70 in game three.

Auburn will play one of its home games in Huntsville vs. Grambling on Nov. 29th. Two exhibition games are on the schedule on Nov. 7th vs. EA Sports and on Nov. 12th vs. Global Sports.

Auburn must replace two starters from last year's Sweet 16 team that was edged by national champion Syracuse to end AU's season with a 22-12 record. The Tigers defeated St. Joe's and Wake Forest in early NCAA Tournament matchups. Forward Marquis Daniels, last season's leading scorer, will be a rookie with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and guard Derrick Bird is trying to win a roster spot with the Detroit Pistons.

The Tigers feature three returning starters--6-10 senior center Kyle Davis, 6-7 junior forward Marco Killingsworth and 6-5 junior point guard Lewis Monroe.

Lewis Monroe was a much improved player as a sophomore.

Three other Tigers who started games last year are back--junior forward Brandon Robinson plus junior guards Nathan Watson and Troy Gaines.

Newcomers Quinnel Brown (6-6, 210, Jr. forward), Ronny Lemelle (6-5, 200, Jr. forward) and Ian Young (6-3, 200 guard) will be competing for playing time. Dwayne Curtis, a 6-9 freshman center, is expected to join the team in December if he becomes an academic qualifier by then.

Killingsworth, who averaged 13.3 points per game as a sophomore, is the leading scorer among the returnees. He averaged 6.4 rebounds per game last season.

The following is Auburn's schedule. Times are subject to change.

Nov. 7--EA Sports All-Stars at Auburn 7 p.m. (exhibition)

Nov. 13--Global Sports All-Stars at Auburn 7 p.m. (exhibition)

Nov. 17--College of Charleston at Auburn 7 p.m.

Nov. 21--Western Kentucky at Auburn 7 p.m. (FSS)

Nov. 23--Maryland-Eastern Shore at Auburn 2 p.m.

Nov. 29--Auburn vs. Grambling at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala., 7 p.m.

Dec. 1--Colorado State at Auburn 7 p.m. (FSS)

Dec. 7--Air Force at Auburn 2 p.m.

Dec. 10--Montana at Auburn 7 p.m.

Dec. 20--Auburn at UNLV 11:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Dec. 22--Georgia State at Auburn 7 p.m.

Dec. 30--Southern Mississippi at Auburn 7 p.m.

Jan. 2--University of New Orleans at Auburn 7 p.m.

Jan. 7--Auburn at Vanderbilt 7 p.m. (JP)

Jan. 10--Ole Miss at Auburn 3 p.m.

Jan. 14--South Carolina at Auburn 7 p.m. (JP)

Jan. 17--Auburn at Alabama 6 p.m. (FSS)

Jan. 21--Arkansas at Auburn 7 p.m.

Jan. 24--Auburn at Florida 3 p.m. (CBS)

Jan. 31--Mississippi State at Auburn 3 p.m.

Feb. 4--Auburn at Arkansas 7 p.m. (JP)

Feb. 7--Georgia at Auburn 3 p.m.

Feb. 14--Auburn at Ole Miss 5 p.m. (FSS)

Feb. 18--Auburn at LSU 7 p.m.

Feb. 21--Kentucky at Auburn 1 p.m. (JP)

Feb. 24--Alabama at Auburn 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Feb. 28--Auburn at Tennessee 6 p.m. (FSS)

March 2--Auburn at Mississippi State 8 p.m. (ESPN)

March 6--LSU at Auburn 3 p.m.

March 11-14--SEC Tournament, Georgia Dome, Atlanta (JP/CBS)

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