Tigers Look to Rebound Vs. George Washington

Auburn will return to action on Saturday with a home game vs. an Atlantic 10 opponent.

Auburn, Ala.--Jeff Lebo's Auburn basketball Tigers will look to sweep their home-and-home, two-year series with George Washington as the Colonials visit Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum for a 1 p.m. CST tipoff on Saturday.

GW comes into the game with a 2-0 record following a 71-57 home win on Wednesday night vs. Binghampton, the same evening the Tigers lost 78-74 to Mercer.

This will be the second road game for Coach Karl Hobbs and his Colonials, who opened the regular season with a 63-58 victory at Boston University.

"GW is very, very athletic, the most athletic team that we will face to date," says Auburn coach Jeff Lebo, whose team defeated George Washington 74-70 last year in Washington, D.C.

The coach says he expects to see an aggressive man-to-man defense, as well as other defensive sets, as the visitors try to take advantage of their quickness.

Rob Diggs, a 6-8, 187 forward, leads George Washington in scoring and rebounding with 12.5 points and 10.0 boards per contest. Noel Wilmore, a 6-4 senior guard, is scoring 10 points per contest as is 6-8 forward Damian Hollis, a junior who is averaging 5.5 rebounds per outing.

Rebounding problems were a major issue for the Tigers as they fell to 1-1 with their loss to Mercer. Lebo says he is looking for better play out of all of his big men, including senior Korvotney Barber, who leads the Tigers in scoring with 19.5 points per contest. Barber tweaked an ankle on Wednesday, but should be ready to start on Saturday, Auburn's coach says.

"We had so many opportunities that we let slip by," Lebo says of the Mercer game, noting the Tigers didn't execute "on simple basketball plays." He also notes that the Tigers played "soft" around the basket that prevented them from finishing plays.

"We would get 85 or 90 percent of our possession right whether it was offense or defense," Lebo says. "We didn't do the last 15 percent or the last 10 percent, which is the most important part, finishing it off with buckets or finishing off defensive possessions with a rebound."

Lebo adds that his team tried to make a stylish play too many times when doing the basics would have gotten the job done. "I tell them all of the time it is not about degree of difficulty--you don't get extra points for degree of difficulty."

News and Notes: Lebo says that junior guard DeWayne Reed was by far the best player on the floor for the Tigers vs. Mercer. He notes the way the coaching staff did the statistics after watching game video that Reed had 8 1/2 assists and just one turnover while playing a strong game on defense...There is no television coverage of Saturday's game...Auburn will play two other opponents from the Atlantic 10 with games vs. Dayton on Nov. 28th and Xavier on Dec. 3rd...Freshmen guard Frankie Sullivan made his collegiate debut on Wednesday night after suffering a high ankle sprain on Oct. 31st. Lebo says that the freshman made too many mistakes, which was anticipated because he missed almost many of the preseason practices. He scored seven points with three assists in 23 minutes...Freshman walk-on point guard Josh Wallace is being considered for a redshirt year, Lebo says. He is a 5-10, 180-pounder from Washington High in Pensacola, Fla., where he earned All-State honors last season...The 20th-ranked women's team will take on 17th-ranked ranked Ohio State at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the coliseum.


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