Tolbert, Prowell to Play Final Home Games

Quan Prowell and Frank Tolbert discuss their time as basketball Tigers prior to Wednesday's Senior Night game vs. the Georgia Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's leading scorer Quan Prowell and crowd-favorite Frank Tolbert will play their last game in front of the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum crowd on Wednesday when the Tigers play host to the Georgia Bulldogs.

"It means a lot to me," Prowell says. "It has been a long time coming and my last home game as a senior is at Auburn, a place where I have wanted to play since high school so it is going to be special for me."

Prowell, a 6-8 swingman who is playing out of position at center for Auburn, has played two seasons of basketball for the Tigers after transferring in from Furman and sitting out one year as a redshirt. The senior from Columbus, Ga., is averaging 15.7 points per game this season and is currently playing his best basketball.

Dating back to Jan. 26th, no player in the SEC is scoring more than Prowell, whose average during that stretch is 19.6 points per contest. Prowell is also shooting 51 percent from three-point range during that period, which is better than any player in the conference during that time frame.

Quan Prowell has been effective with his long-range shooting for the Tigers.

"I love the way he (Prowell) plays," Tolbert says. "His game is just so smooth it's like he is out there effortless. He can shoot the ball, he can drive and finish with either hand and athletically I wish I could jump like him, but I'll settle for what I have. It has been great playing with him and he just makes the game more fun."

Tolbert, a 6-4 senior guard who is playing a lot of forward this season and occasionally fills in at center, says his final game will be special. "It is real big for me because I've been through a lot," he says.

"It is the last time I'll be able to play in front of these fans," he says. "They have supported us through thick and thin. It is just going to be real big for me."

Tolbert will be remembered by Auburn fans for his tenacious hustle and his ability to create something out of nothing. The River Falls, Ala., native has played all four years of his college career at Auburn and is the only player on the current roster who was recruited to Auburn prior to Jeff Lebo taking over the program.

"I've never played with a guy like Frank before," Prowell says of his teammate. "It seems like the only time he gets hurt is when someone else touches him. As long as he is diving on the floor and falling out of bounds, he never gets hurt. So, as long as people stay away from him, I guess he will be alright.

"It makes you want to work even harder and it makes you want to go outside your box and play a little harder than you usually do when you see Frank diving out of bounds and exerting himself as much as he does," Prowell adds. "It only trickles down to the team."

Tolbert had high hopes this would be a breakout season for the Tigers, who were expected to challenge for the SEC West title. However, a series of personnel losses depleted the team's ranks and the Tigers head into the final two games of the regular season with a 14-13 overall record and a 4-10 conference record.

"It was tough, as far as getting in the win column," Tolbert says of his experience at Auburn. "I wouldn't change anything. I had a lot of great experiences here. The coaches are great, I have met a lot of great guys and my teammates. Even though it is tough out on the court, it is getting better."

Tolbert drives to the basket for the Tigers early in his senior season.

Both Prowell and Tolbert would like to continue their basketball careers after they wrap up their senior seasons. While it seems unlikely that either would be taken in the NBA's two-round draft, there are several ways to play basketball professionally and a steady stream of pro scouts have attended Auburn home games this year to watch the Tigers.

Many former college standouts get a chance to play in Europe or in professional leagues in various countries around the world. Also, with the advent of the National Basketball Development League that the NBA started, there is a chance for players to stay in the United States and try to work their way onto an NBA roster.

"I just want to see if I can further my career," Prowell says. "Whether it be here or overseas--I would rather it be here--but if it is overseas I would like to take that opportunity, too."

Tolbert notes he isn't ready to give up basketball either. "I would go overseas and play because I just love to play basketball," he says. "I am going to try to make this a career after college."

Lebo says if Tolbert gets a chance to play professionally it would likely be as a shooting guard. The Auburn coach says that Prowell's natural positions would be either the small forward spot or shooting guard.

Tolbert notes that his focus continues to be on the current season that features a 7 p.m. CST tipoff vs. Georgia on Wednesday before the Tigers wrap up the regular season at Arkansas with a 5 p.m. contest on Saturday. With the potential to finish anywhere from third to sixth in the SEC West, the Tigers are looking to improve their seeding for the SEC Tournament, which will run March 13-16th at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Wednesday's game vs. the Bulldogs will not be televised.


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