Tigers Return Home for Pair of Games

Jeff Lebo's Auburn men's basketball team will play Troy on Friday and Virginia on Monday.

Auburn, Ala.--After playing most of their games away from home so far this season, Jeff Lebo's Tigers will play a pair of home contests with Troy coming to Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on Friday and Virginia visiting on Monday.

"It is nice to be home," Lebo says. "We have had five of our first seven games away from home. That is never easy with a fairly new team. We have a little stretch here where we play a lot of home games. We only have one road game at Florida State, and we have a bunch of home games."

The Tigers will take on a veteran Troy team that starts five seniors at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Trojans, 4-3 as are the Tigers, start five seniors led by 6-2, 192 guard Brandon Hazzard, who is averaging 16.7 points per game.

Four other Trojans are scoring in double figures. Richard Delk, a 6-4 transfer guard from Mississippi State, is averaging 15 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Michael Vogler, a 6-1 guard, is scoring 11.4 points per game.

The big man in the starting lineup for the Trojas is 6-9, 230 center Yamene Coleman, who is averaging 11 points and 6.7 rebounds. The other starter, 6-6, 190 forward Antywan Jones, is averaging 8.1 points and 7.3 rebounds.

"They can really, really shoot the basketball from a variety of spots and do a lot of dribble drives," Lebo says of the Trojans. "We have to be very good defensively. They played nose-to-nose with Florida and they were up (32-31) at the half at Florida.They are certainly capable, and they have terrific shooters in Delk and Brandon Hazzard and a really heady point guard and Yamene Coleman inside.

"They play primarily zone and obviously shooting the basketball will be a priority in getting good looks," Lebo notes. "Defensively, we will have to be very, very alert because we haven't really faced a team that has played this type of offense yet this year."

The Tigers come into the game following an 87-52 win in Huntsville vs. Alabama A&M. The game marked the regular season debut for senior guard Tay Waller, who has been sidelined by a thigh injury. He scored 13 points for the Tigers.

"He is not close to 100 percent yet, but just his ability to be on the floor--you saw that in our last game against Alabama A&M," Lebo adds. "They had to defend him differently, and some of the openings that our other guys get are because he is just on the floor. He needs to get back in shape, but it is nice to have him back on the court. It certainly helps our depth. His experience out there is huge."

DeWayne Reed leads the Tigers in scoring with 15 points per contest. The senior guard is averaging 3.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds.

Fellow senior Lucas Hargrove, who has posted back-to-back double-doubles for points and rebounds, is averaging 13.6 points and a team leading 7.7 rebounds.

The Tigers and Trojans last met with Auburn winning 71-68 in 2006. Auburn is 10-0 all-time vs. Troy.

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