Battle of Improving Programs

The Auburn men's basketball team will play at Georgia on Saturday at 3 p.m. CST. There will be no television.

Auburn, Ala.-- The last time Auburn and Georgia played at Stegeman Coliseum on the UGA campus, the Bulldogs were in year two of the Dennis Felton Era and Jeff Lebo was in year one at Auburn. Both programs were in a rebuilding stage and were a combined 4-18 in SEC play.

The Bulldogs won one of the worst played SEC games in recent history, 57-45.

"I don't remember a lot of games because I've been through a lot," Lebo says, "but I do remember that one."

The two teams combined to shoot 34 percent from the floor and had 44 fouls. The Tigers and Bulldogs had more missed foul shots (18) than assists (17). Auburn was just 1-17 from three-point range and Georgia had 17 turnovers.

The offensive play was so horrible that the game was tied 2-2 after more than seven minutes of action. Georgia led 7-4 after nearly 12 minutes before eventually winning by default.


Levi Stukes, who wasn't even supposed to play because of injury, came off the bench to hit 4-7 threes and was the best player on the court that afternoon.

Auburn, which had a mixture of rookies and veterans, played eight guys, none of which were taller than 6-5. Georgia had guards and forwards, but virtually no experience as Felton was trying to dig the program out of the grave left by Jim Harrick.

Two years later Lebo and Felton have their programs on the rise and the teams are a respectable 10-12 in a tougher than normal SEC.

"I think we're both improved and both have been through hard times," Lebo notes. "If you look at them now their guys are mostly juniors and seniors now. They've been through the wars. They may be one year ahead of where we are, but we're very similar.

"That was a terrible game," Lebo laughs.

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