Auburn Coach Trying to Show Patience

Comments from Auburn's head coach are featured as the Tigers prepare to open the 2006-2007 basketball season.

Auburn, Ala.--With no seniors on the roster and just one junior who has played for the Tigers, Jeff Lebo says he has had to learn patience.

"I have to swallow a few times here or there, especially in practice," Auburn's head basketball coach says. "I have really been in situations ever since I have been a coach that I have never really had a real veteran team. I have left some programs and left some good veteran teams when I changed jobs so I had to learn about being patient.

"I have had to learn about teaching a lot of people over and over and over again," Lebo says. "Hopefully, I am getting better at that. It would be nice to have a season where you had juniors and seniors. It is coming."

Lebo's roster features three juniors this season, however, 6-4 guard Frank Tolbert is the only one who has played for the Tigers. Another 6-4 guard, Archie Miaway, is transfer from Tallahassee Community College. Quan Prowell, a 6-8 forward who transferred from Furman, is currently suspended and is not expected to play until a Dec. 19th game vs. Tennessee State.

Lebo says he can see progress with the overall program as he begins his third season at Auburn. "We are getting better slowly," he contends. "It is not something that has shot through the roof, but I really like our sophomore class here. I think I have got some leadership. I think I have got some toughness.

"What I finally have got this year for our freshmen is that they can watch the upperclassmen practice and get behind somebody and watch and learn," Lebo says. "That is big. That is key. I know when I played we always had one or two or three guys in front of us we could watch.

"I watched Kenny Smith, I watched Steve Hale," Lebo remembers. "I watched how they practiced. I watched how hard they work.

Rasheem Barrett averaged 11.3 points per game as a freshman last season.

"We have that this year with some veteran players, which is nice. We still have no seniors so that is difficult. My three captains are all sophomores who have been voted on by their teammates so they have to learn about leadership, but I like where they are with that. I think I have three good ones with Rasheem Barrett, Korvotney Barber and Quantez Robertson."

Lebo and his Tigers open their season with an exhibition game on Friday night at 7 p.m. vs. Faulkner at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. There is no admission charge for that game and a second exhibition game on Tuesday at 8 p.m. vs. AUM, which is the second half of a doubleheader as the women's team plays Tuskegee University at 6 p.m. in the exhibition opener for Coach Nell Fortner's team.

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