New Look Basketball Team to Take On Miles

Coach Jeff Lebo's Auburn Tigers will play an exhibition game on Friday night vs. the Miles Golden Bears.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Jeff Lebo plans to look at a variety of lineups as his Auburn basketball Tigers take the court on Friday night for their preseason exhibition game vs. Miles College.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum as the Tigers begin their final season at that building before moving across the street to the new Auburn Arena that is scheduled to be completed next summer.

"I think our guys are ready to play against somebody different," Lebo says. "I am ready to see how they respond."

Lebo plans to start an experienced five with four seniors joined by 6-1 sophomore guard Frankie Sullivan. The coach plans to open with a three-guard look with 6-2 Tay Waller and 6-1 DeWayne Reed in the lineup along with 6-6 forward Lucas Hargrove and 6-10 center Brendon Knox.

Waller is expected to see limited action on Friday night as he recovers from a quadriceps injury.

Commenting on what he hopes to see in the exhibition game, Lebo tells Inside the Auburn Tigers, "I am looking for guys who execute. I told my guys the only person they really need to impress here is me because I make the decisions on who plays and what is impressive to me will be guys who do what I ask them to do, guys who can execute. Don't go out and think that because I scored a lot or didn't score that I played poorly or I played well. I think that is the biggest thing."

DeWayne Reed will be counted on to lead the team from the point guard position.

Auburn's roster features five newcomers plus a pair of redshirts who are eligible for the first time.

Andre Malone

The freshman class features 6-5 guards Andre Malone and Earnest Ross along with 6-9 forward Ty Armstrong and 6-10 center Rob Chubb.

Kenny Gabriel, a 6-8 forward, joins the team this year as a sophomore after playing one season of junior college basketball.

Kenny Gabriel

Tony Neysmith, a 6-5 guard, will be a redshirt sophomore this season after sitting out last year as a transfer from Oklahoma. Neysmith has been limited in practice the past week as he recovers from an ankle sprain, but he is expected to play on Friday night.

The Tigers are looking for help at point guard from 5-10 freshman Josh Wallace, who redshirted last year. He was an All-State player at Washington High in Pensacola who walked on last season.

"It is going to be interesting to see how the young kids really respond when the lights are turned on playing against a team we really haven't seen," Lebo says. "Typically, these games are ones where we play against a different style. They have undersized big guys. They spread you all out. They shoot a lot of threes. You see things that you don't normally see. That is why you see upsets like LeMoyne over Syracuse."

The Tigers will open their regular season a week from Friday with a home game vs. Niagara. Lebo's team posted a 24-12 mark last season and advanced to the third round of the NIT, but must replace three key seniors from that squad--Korvotney Barber, Quantez Robertson and Rasheem Barrett.

Lucas Hargrove will be a team captain for the Tigers as a senior.

"We have got a lot of guys this year," Lebo says. "I am going to throw a lot of people out there and give them a little work in a scrimmage situation. We have got a lot of guys who haven't played. We have six or seven guys who will play who didn't play last year. We will are going to have to see how they do."

Johnnie Lett, a 6-8 senior forward who is recovering from an ankle injury, has made progress the past week. "He is starting to get a little bit healthier," Lebo points out. "He is starting to be able make it through practice."

Lett, who was a starter early last season, missed Auburn's stretch run with an ankle injury. "He has had three or four days where he has gone straight through practice," the coach says. "He is still learning to run on it like he needs to. Quickness-wise, he is doing pretty well. Change of direction, he is doing pretty well. He still doesn't have the lift yet around the basket he had before he injured it."

Reed, a second team preseason All-SEC pick, is Auburn's leading returning scorer. He averaged 13.2 points per game. Waller averaged 12.2 points while Hargrove is the top returning rebounder with 5.3 per contest to go with 8.1 points per contest.

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