Tigers Start Second Half of SEC vs. Rebels

Coach Jeff Lebo discusses the Auburn basketball team, which is the surprising leader in the SEC West.

Auburn, Ala.--As Auburn heads into the second half of the Southeastern basketball season with a 4-4 conference record, Coach Jeff Lebo says he is seeing signs of progress with his AU team since the start of league play.

The Tigers will take on Ole Miss at 1 p.m. CST on Saturday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum after picking up their first road victory of the season. Auburn shot 57.1 percent on the way to defeating South Carolina 80-75 on Wednesday night.

"I think we have played pretty well here," Lebo says. "We are playing a little bit better offensively, it seems like. We are scoring the ball a little bit easier.

"Defensively, at times we have done some good things," he adds. "I don't think there is any doubt we are a better basketball team.

Jeff Lebo celebrates an Auburn victory with his team earlier this season at Toomer's Corner.

"The other thing is I think you are seeing Quan Prowell be a factor for us and getting more comfortable on the floor," Lebo says. "Missing 11 games, he didn't have that preseason to get his feet wet. He hadn't played in a long time. He has really been a consistent guy for us and that has really helped us here in conference play."

Next up for the Tigers is an Ole Miss team that is 3-5 in the league after knocking off Mississippi State on Tuesday night. First year coach Andy Kennedy's team is 14-8 overall.

Lebo says, "I am very impressed with Ole Miss and the job Andy has done down there. They have got a group of guys who are older and have got some experience, certainly in the backcourt where they are playing three guards who are seniors. Then they have an inside player, who is a redshirt junior, who is like a senior in (Dwayne) Curtis.

"They have got experienced guys who are playing very well," Lebo adds. "They present a lot of problems to you both defensively and offensively. He has just done a terrific job getting them to buy into what he is doing down there."

Bam Doyle, a 6-4 senior guard, is leading the Rebs in scoring at 16.5 points per game. Clarence Sanders, a 6-1 senior guard, is right behind at 15.6 points and Dwayne Curtis, a 6-8, 280 center who transferred from Auburn after Cliff Ellis was fired, is scoring 13.1 points per game and leading the team in rebounds with 9.1 per game.


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