Lebo Likes Opening Practice

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Jeff Lebo's Auburn basketball team worked out for two hours on Friday evening in their first full squad practice of the 2009-2010 season and the coach said he liked what he saw.

"It was a good competitive practice," Lebo said. "I thought the upperclassmen early on looked a lot better than the young guys. The young guys competed hard which I was happy to see. The first day of official practice, you have a lot of teaching and a lot of standing, but overall the effort was pretty good."

The roster features five seniors including returning starters DeWayne Reed, Lucas Hargrove and Tay Waller.

Coach Jeff Lebo

The Tigers, who were 24-12 last season, play their first game on Nov. 6th, an exhibition against Miles College. Auburn opens the regular season on Nov. 13th with a home game vs. Niagara.

Prior to the full squad practices, Lebo and his staff were able to work on fundamentals with individual players. "Being able to start a little bit earlier, we are a little bit ahead of things," he said. "I think the one thing that we can use these practices for, we have to spend a little bit extra time teaching for the new guys. We have a lot of new faces, and they need more reps than the older guys."

Friday's practice was the first at Auburn for four freshmen and sophomore transfer Kenny Gabriel, a 6-8 forward. Lebo's freshman group includes 6-5 guards Earnest Ross and Andre Malone, 6-9 forward Ty Armstrong and 6-10 center Rob Chubb.

Gabriel, who played junior college basketball last season, says, "It looks like we are going to have a lot of competition for playing time."

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