"I am real proud of Ronny," Lebo says. "He has had a real terrific season for us."
LeMelle, who graduated in August with a degree in marketing, was scheduled to be a senior last season, but he received a medical hardship redshirt after suffering a pair of knee injuries.
"With his injury he decided to redshirt and come back and really be with guys he didn't know," Lebo points out. "We have a total new team and a young team. I know it was frustrating for him at times."
LeMelle, a 6-5 guard from Harrisburg, Pa., transferred to Auburn after playing juco ball at Western Oklahoma State. He is leading the Tigers in scoring with 12.8 points per contest.
"We have asked him to do a lot for us and play a lot of minutes and be a leader and score points," the Auburn coach says. "He has come every day to practice. I don't think the kid has missed a practice all season. He has worked hard. I think he has grown into his leadership position on the team. I think Ronny LeMelle is a kid who has really, really matured before our eyes this year."
LeMelle says Auburn's 12-14 season going into Saturday's game isn't what he hoped for as a senior, but says he has enjoyed being a part of Lebo's second Auburn team.
"It has been a tough year, but I wouldn't trade it in for anything," he says. "I know they are going to be good in the future and I am just glad to be a part of helping build something."
LeMelle will be honored as the Tigers take on 14-14 South Carolina at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
"It has been tough from the time I got here due to my injuries, but I think I am ending on a good note," LeMelle says. "I think people are going to remember me, hopefully remember me...actually I just want people to remember me as going out there and leaving everything I have out there and at least trying my best."