Coach Jeff Lebo's Tigers, who are 8-6, will be looking for their fourth straight victory in Auburn's first-ever men's basketball game vs. West Georgia out of the Gulf South Conference. On Saturday the Tigers open conference play with a home game vs. South Carolina.
Commenting on what he wants to see from his team vs. 7-6 West Georgia, Lebo says, "You want to be sharp and playing with confidence when you enter into the SEC. I think we are slowly starting to do some good things. I think the last few games our offensive efficiency has been much better, which is nice to see.
"We are shooting the ball at a much higher percentage," Lebo points out. "You want to have some confidence. You have to have confidence."
After dropping back-to-back games at Florida State and at home to Sam Houston State, the Tigers have won three straight, but have not faced stiff competition in those games. That was the case on Saturday as they outscored Georgia Southern 95-75 while hitting 13-24 treys. Three-point shooting had been an issue in earlier games.
"We have some deficiencies," Lebo says. "There is no doubt about it, but the kids have continued to work hard. I think some of the kids that missed a lot of preseason are starting to round into a little bit better shape. You look at Kenny Gabriel. You look at Tay Waller who missed a ton of games and practice and is starting to get back into some playing shape."
John Pringle, a 6-7 senior center, leads the West Georgia Wolves in scoring and rebounds with averages of 13.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Vojin Svilar, a 6-2 junior guard from Serbia, is averaging 12.4 points for West Georgia and 6-7 sophomore guard Gavin Field from Australia is scoring 10.5 points per game and averaging 7.4 rebounds per contest.
Justin Cummings, a 6-3 junior guard from Pleasant Grove, Ala., High School, provides a spark off the bench averaging 10.5 points game.
West Georgia defeated Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (67-55), Reinhardt (89-70), Southern Arkansas (67-60), Arkansas-Monticello (71-65) and Ouachita Baptist (80-66) prior to falling 83-70 to Henderson State in its last contest.
DeWayne Reed leads the Tigers in scoring with 15.4 points per game. Fellow senior Lucas Hargrove is Auburn's top rebounder with 7.2 per contest.
Brendon Knox, a 6-10 backup center, is coming off a double-double vs. Georgia Southern with 18 points a career-best 11 rebounds. During Auburn's three-game winning streak he has averaged 15.7 points per game while making 18-23 field goals.