With Auburn leading by one, Barber blocked Troy's game-winning attempt in the lane with nine seconds remaining. After two Frank Tolbert free throws to put the Tigers up by three with two seconds left, Barber stole the inbounds pass to preserve Auburn's season-opening 71-68 victory.
"It feels real good being my first time to be honored with this award," Barber said. "I helped my team out tremendously with 16 rebounds and on the defensive end as well as the offensive end. This is something that I can build on and build my confidence up from last year. I didn't know too much last year. Over the summer I worked a lot, and I am ready for this year."
The Manchester, Ga., native shot 50 percent from the field, making 5-of-10 shots in 33 minutes of play. Seven of his 16 rebounds were offensive.
"Vot has continued to improve," said head coach Jeff Lebo. "He has been terrific rebounding the ball in the exhibition games and the Troy game. We actually had him with 17.5 offensive rebounds with the way we grade tape in that game, which is terrific.
"It may be the most offensive rebounds that I have ever had a guy have an opportunity to get. I think he is more comfortable on the floor. He still needs to work on a lot of areas. He hasn't played against tremendous size yet, but it is a nice credit to him getting this award."
Starting with Friday's home game vs. Winston-Salem State at 8 pm Central, the Tigers will endure a stretch of playing seven games in 14 days. Auburn plays host to East Tennessee State Nov. 19 and Miles College Nov. 21 in the first two rounds of the South Padre Invitational in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. The Tigers will then play Oklahoma State Nov. 24 in South Padre Island, Texas, in the third round followed by either No. 9 Wisconsin or Missouri State in the final game of the tournament Nov. 25.