Tigers Off to Nation's Capital to Face GW

Washington, D.C.--With nearly a two-week layoff since their last contest, the Auburn men's basketball team returns to action on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CST vs. the George Washington Colonials at the Verizon Center.

The Tigers will be looking for a fourth straight victory since dropping their opener at Tulane. The Tigers won their last contest, 89-59 at Charleston Southern, on Nov. 19th.

"You never know how that is going to affect your team," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo says of the layoff.

The Tigers will again play without seven-foot-one freshman Boubacar Sylla, who is still trying to recover from an ankle injury, said Lebo, who noted he isn't sure when the center will be cleared for action. That means the Tigers are down to seven scholarship players for the contest with senior Quan Prowell finishing his suspension. Prowell, the leading scorer for the Tigers last year, is expected back in action when the Tigers play in Birmingham on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. vs. West Virginia.

George Washington will try to bounce back from an 83-60 road loss against the nation's top-ranked team, UCLA, and will bring a 2-2 record into the contest.

Rob Diggs, a 6-8 junior forward, leads the team in scoring with 16 points per game and averages 7.3 rebounds.

Wynton Witherspoon, a 6-7 junior forward transfer from Virginia Tech, is averaging 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Maureece Rice, a 6-1 senior guard, is averaging 9.7 points and 1.3 assists.

The other starters are 6-8 sophomore forward Damian Hollis, who is averaging 9.3 points and 8.0 rebounds, and Clemson transfer Cheyenne Moore, a 6-5 junior forward, who is averaging 5.5 points and 3.5 rebounds.

"I think George Washington, maybe the last four or five years, has maybe been the premier team in the Atlantic 10," Lebo said. "I think they have the best record. They have went to the NCAA Tournament a bunch. They are very athletic.

"They have a kid in Rice, who is the Atlantic 10 Tournament MVP, who is a very, very talented outside shooter and scorer," Lebo noted. "Diggs inside is a terrific athletic and he is their leading scorer. They have Witherspoon, who is an ACC transfer, along with Cheynne Moore, who is also an ACC transfer, so they have played in big-time programs on big stages and they are used to winning. It is going to be a tough test."

The game will be televised on FSN South and MASN.

Lebo said the Tigers will have to be alert offensively. "Defensively, they change a lot," he said. "They trap a lot. We have to take care of the basketball. They throw some different looks at you each time down the floor, much like we do."

Junior forward Korvotney Barber leads the Tigers in scoring at 15.0 points and is the top rebounder at 8.0 per game. Junior guard Rasheem Barrett is scoring 14 points per game and averaging 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists.


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