Lebo Contemplating Changes

Auburn, Ala.--After a disappointing loss to West Virginia and a less than impressive win over Southern, Jeff Lebo says he is going to reassess the style of play his Tigers use.

Lebo's basketball team is coming off a 71-63 victory on Saturday night in Mobile at the Coors Classic after falling 88-59 to West Virginia in the previous game 10 days earlier. Southern has just won one game and will likely be one of the weakest teams the Tigers face this season.

The Auburn coach had just seven scholarship players available in Mobile and he says the lack of depth showed. "You can see the toll it is taking, not having that depth," he says.

Next on the schedule is a Wednesday home game vs. Mercer. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

"Teams are making us play man to man defense for long periods of time and it just wears on us," Lebo says. "We are not going to be able to do that. We are going to have to find a different way to play a little bit. We put all of this stuff in, thinking we were going to have a certain type of team. We are going to have to make some changes here because I can see the fatigue setting in already."

The latest injuries are to sophomore forward Lucas Hargrove, who is expected to be out approximately another month with a broken bone in his hand, and freshman center Boubacar Sylla reinjured his ankle in practice. He is expected to be out for a month, too, and looks to be a prime candidate to apply for a medical hardship redshirt.

"We can't have an injury right now as you can see," Lebo says. "We have had enough of them."

A player who was bothered by a nagging back problem last year, Rasheem Barrett has stayed healthy as a junior and had perhaps his best game of the season in the win over Southern. He scored 18 points, added five assists and two steals while leading all players on the boards.

"He did a better job rebounding the ball," Lebo says of Barrett. "I think he got fatigued in the second half. I asked him before the game if he could possibly give me five rebounds, which I told him might be an all-time record for him in a game. He got me 10 so I might challenge him again the next game to see if he can get me six.

"We really need him," Lebo says. "Offensively, in the first half I think he did a great job for us. He made shots and really defensively rebounded the ball well for us."

The Tigers, who have only played one home game this season, will play their next seven games at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. In addition to playing Mercer on Wednesday, the Tigers have another home game prior to Christmas with a Saturday 1 p.m. contest vs. Alabama A&M.

Basketball Notes: The Tigers are still awaiting word on whether or not senior guard Archie Miaway will be available for any games this season. Miaway was academically ineligible during fall semester and was also limited in practice with a knee injury...Auburn's bench combined for just 10 minutes of game time on Saturday night in Mobile. Matt Heramb played eight minutes and walk-on guard, Larry Williams, Jr., was in the contest for two minutes.


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