Tigers Travel to Face Streaking Vandy

Coach Jeff Lebo's Tigers face a major road challenge on Saturday in Nashville vs. Vanderbilt.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn faces the second hottest team in the SEC on Saturday as the Tigers head for Memorial Gym in Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Tippo is set for 12:47 p.m. CST in Nashville as the Commodores look for their ninth consecutive victory. Coach Kevin Stallings has watched his team post a 14-3 record and a 3-0 mark in the Southeastern Conference.

While Vandy was off during the mid-week games, Auburn traveled to LSU and posted an 84-80 victory to improve to 1-3 in the SEC and 10-9 overall.

The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Lebo says he is not surprised that Vandy is playing well because the Commodores brought back so many key players from last season's team. "If you talked to the coaches, we all knew they were going to be very good," he says.

"They have got a little bit of everything,"?Lebo points out. "They have got size. They have got good guard play. They can shoot the ball from the perimeter. They can defend. They have got depth and they are well coached."

Jeffery Taylor, a 6-7, 210 sophomore guard, leads Vandy in scoring at 14.1 points per game and is averaging 5.5 rebounds.

A.J. Ogilvy, a 6-11, 250 junior, is averaging 13.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He has been one of the top big men in the league since arriving from Australia.

Jeremaine Beal, a 6-3, 205 senior guard, is averaging 13.0 points, 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds.

The other starters are 6-7, 220 sophomore forward Andre Walker (6.5 points and 5.4 rebounds) and 6-3 sophomore guard Brad Tinsley (6.4, 2.7 rebounds).

John Jenkins, a 6-4, 215 freshman guard, is the top player off the bench with averages of 10.9 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Lebo notes that his Tigers needed the win they picked up in Baton Rouge. "It was good to see them with some smiles on their faces," he says. "It was good that we made plays at the end of the game to get over the hump to win a game on the road. It is always nice to do that on the road. I don't care who you are playing on the road, let alone a league game.

"I thought we got nice contributions from everybody," Lebo says. "Everybody felt good after the game because I?think they all felt like they had something to do with the win."

Five Tigers scored in double figures vs. LSU and Lebo says he is seeing signs of improvement on offense.

"Really the last three halves we have been really solid and very efficient offensively," he points out. Lebo says the Tigers have had good spacing on offense, have shot the ball well and not had a major problem with turnovers. His team hit 52 percent of its field goals on Wednesday vs. LSU.

Lebo says Vanderbilt's balanced scoring has been a big reason for that team's success.

"To me those are the hardest teams to prepare for when they have that got that kind of balance," he notes. "They can score inside, score on the perimeter, they have drivers, they have shooters, they have got back to the basket guys."

Vandy leads the series vs. Auburn 79-51 and has won its last three games vs. the Tigers.

DeWayne Reed, who scored 21 on Wednesday night, leads Auburn in scoring at 16.5 points per game. Frankie Sullivan is next at 13.8 followed by Lucas Hargrove at 12.8 and Tay Waller with 11.7 per contest.

The Tigers will continue to play without reserve forward Kenny Gabriel who is out with an ankle injury.


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