Lebo's Tigers, who are still playing short-handed without suspended six-foot-eight forwards Josh Dollard and Quan Prowell, won't be at a height disadvantage on Friday night. The Rams start a lineup that goes 6-6, 6-6, 6-5, 6-2 and 5-11.
"Winston-Salem is a very quick and athletic team that changes defenses," Lebo says of the 1-3 Rams. "They are not a team that is huge, which will help us a little bit. They have played four games and we have only played one so they are use to playing and getting the kinks out because they played three nights in a row out in California.
"They are a team that is streaky from the outside," the coach adds. "They haven't shot the ball well yet from the outside, but they are very athletic."
Friday's games will be the first time the Tigers and Rams have played in men's or women's basketball. Winston-Salem State lost its games at the Fresno State Invitational falling 85-63 to the host team, 53-41 to Cal-Irvine and 76-58 to South Alabama. The Rams won at home by a 67-44 score vs. Anderson University.
Winston-Salem is led in scoring by 6-6, 210 forward Darrell Wonge, a junior who averages 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. Jamal Durham, who is a 6-6, 215 sophomore, averages 10.8 points and 4.3 points.
The Rams are under new management. Bobby Collins, who earned a reputation as a strong coach at Hampton, is his first season at Winston-Salem State, which is in its first year as a Division I program.
The Tigers are led by sophomore forward Korvotney Barber, the SEC Player of the Week, who scored 13 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in the opening night 71-68 win over Troy a week ago. Junior guard Frank Tolbert scored 14 points and added eight rebounds.
Sophomore guard Quantez Roberston scored 12 points, dished out eight assists and added six rebounds. Rasheem Barrett, a sophomore guard/forward, scored 12 points and added six rebounds. The other starter, guard Archie Miawy, added seven points.
The women's team is coming off an 84-47 rout of Alabama State on Wednesday night. The Tigers are getting strong play from 5-11 sophomore guard Sherrell Hobbs, who is averaging 19.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. She has become the main scorer with sophomore forward DeWanna Bonner recovering from a nose injury suffered in the exhibition win over Tuskegee.
Hobbs has made 13-20 field goals this season for the Tigers, who are also getting good shooting out of 6-7 center Keke Carrier, who is averaging 11 points and 8.0 rebounds. Carrier has made 8-13 field goals.
Juco transfer Tamela McCorvey has been an impact player. The junior guard is averaging 12 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Also at guard the Tigers have been getting a spark off the bench from senior Joanna Clayden, who scored a career-high 15 points in Auburn's last outing. She is 6-13 on threes.
Winston-Salem State is 0-2 with losses to No. 2 North Carolina 83-32 and Towson State 76-51. Shalonda Carter, a 6-1 senior, leads the team with 10.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest.
After Friday's game both Auburn teams will hit the road for Thanksgiving holiday tournaments. The women's team will be in the U.S. Virgin Islands and will play Xavier on Thursday. The men's team will be on South Padre Island, Tex., to face Oklahoma State next Friday.