Lebo's Tigers Heading South--Way South

Members of the Auburn men's basketball teams will need to get their passports ready this summer.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn men's basketball team will get a very early start on the 2007-2008 season with a late summer exhibition tour in the Caribbean.

The Tigers will be flying south to play both club and professional teams on the French island of Guadeloupe from August 8-13.

Details on the schedule are still being worked out as Auburn prepares for its first exhibition tour since playing a series of games in Spain during the summer of 2001 when Cliff Ellis was head coach.

Jeff Lebo's Tigers will open team practice for the tour on July 28th. The Auburn coach notes the summer tours can be very beneficial to develop team chemistry.

The Tigers, who finished 17-15 in Lebo's third season with the program, did not have any seniors on the 2006-2007 roster. "We are expecting everybody to be back next season," the coach says.

NCAA rules prohibit incoming freshmen and transfers from making the summer foreign tours, which means that recruits Tyrell Lynch, a 6-8 power forward, and 7-1 center Boubacar Sylla won't be able to participate.

The Tigers will return four players who averaged double figures in scoring. Forward Josh Dollard, who will be a junior next season, averaged a team-high 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds.

Forward Quan Prowell averaged 11.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in his first season of action for the Tigers after transferring from Furman and sitting out one season as a redshirt. The forward will be a senior next season.

Guard Frank Tolbert, who will be a senior next season, averaged 11.6 points per game. Rasheem Barrett, a guard/forward, averaged 10.1 points per game as a sophomore.

AU's leading rebounder, forward Korvotney Barber, will be back as a junior after averaging 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest.

Quantez Robertson, who led the Tigers with five assists per game, is the only player who started all 32 games last season. Named the team's Most Valuable Player earlier this week, Robertson averaged 8.2 points and 5.0 assists as a sophomore.

Jeff Lebo is shown at Toomer's Corner celebrating an Auburn basketball victory in January.

"We challenged ourselves a lot with the schedule last year," says Lebo, who notes that he believes the demanding schedule proved to be a good thing for the team in the long run. "I think it helped us in SEC play get to the point where we could beat a Top 25 team. We beat five teams that were in the Top 25 when we played them or were in the Top 25 at one point so that was quite an accomplishment for the team. I am very, very proud of the way they came together and played as a team."

Guadeloupe is a group of islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea that is part of the Republic of France. The economy is heavily dependend on tourism and agriculture.

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