Lebo's Tigers To Be Road Tested

A report on the Auburn men's basketball team as the Tigers open practice for the 2007-2008 season.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Jeff Lebo's Tigers will hit the practice floor for the start of preseason workouts on Friday night preparing for a 2007-2008 schedule that features more road games than usual.

The Tigers will play seven of their first eight regular season games away from Auburn, but Lebo says he doesn't mind that with a veteran team that returns all five starters and all of the key reserves.

"We are playing on the road a little bit more," the coach says. "I think the NCAA (Tournament) Committee has told all of the coaches that playing on the road, no matter who you play, is looked upon in a very favorable light by the NCAA Committee."

The Tigers open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9th in New Orleans vs. Tulane. The home opener is four days later vs. Kennesaw State. After that the Tigers won't play at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum until Dec. 19th vs. Mercer.

Auburn will play three of its non-conference games in the state of Alabama. On Nov. 16th the Tigers will play Alabama State in Montgomery at the Joe L. Reed Acadome. On Dec. 5th the Tigers will be at the BJCC in Birmingham to take on West Virginia. On Dec. 15th the Tigers will be at the Mitchell Center in Mobile to face Southern.

Lebo says he sees those games as an opportunity for Auburn fans in other parts of the state to check out the 2007-2008 Tigers, who are looking to improve on last season's 17-15 record, which included a 7-9 mark in the SEC. The coach also says that in the future he plans to schedule a game in Huntsville.

The other non-conference home games are vs. Alabama A&M (Dec. 22) and Towson University (Dec. 29) and Jan. 2 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and on Jan. 6th vs. Xavier.

Commenting on the Xavier game, Lebo says, "That is going to be a terrific game for us. It also gives us a chance to go back to Cincinnati for Tez's (junior guard Quantez Robertson) senior year to play in front of his people, which is something we try to do. West Virginia, obviously, is going to be very good--a new coach in (Bob) Huggins up in Birmingham."

Quantez Robertson will be back as a player who can play both guard positions.

The Tigers will also play at Charleston Southern and George Washington.

"The schedule is not as difficult, I don't think, as it has been the last two years," Lebo says. "Also, the phone has not rung as much. It was ringing off the hook every five seconds the last couple of years to play so I guess that is good."

Auburn notes: Everybody will be ready to practice when the Tigers begin workouts on Friday night with the exception of senior guard Archie Miaway, who is recovering from a knee injury, Lebo says. Miaway is expected to be at practice next week, however, he missed the exhibition tour to Cancun in August due to academic problems and he isn't scheduled to be eligible for games until after fall semester classes end in December. He joined the team last year as a juco transfer...Sophomore guard Dewayne Reed, who Lebo notes was very impressive in the practices prior to the exhibition tour to Mexico, should be full speed for the start of the season when Auburn plays Bluefield College on Nov. 1 in an exhibition game. The regular season opens on Nov. 8th at Tulane. Reed is about 85 percent now recovering from surgery after injuring his foot in the first exhibition game in Cancun...Lebo has high praise for the leadership of junior Quantez Robertson. The junior guard notes the Tigers have expectations of making a trip to the NCAA Tournament this year.

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