Barbee's Tigers Have Final Tune-Up On Monday

Coach Tony Barbee

With the regular season opening this week, the Tigers will play a tune-up game on Monday night vs. the Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes.

Auburn, Ala.--With the regular season beginning Friday night with a home basketball contest vs. IPFW, Coach Tony Barbee has one last chance to see how his Tigers do vs. outside competition before the games start counting on the 2012-13 record.

Monday at 7 p.m. the Tigers will play host to Georgia Southwestern State out of the Division II Peach Belt Conference in an exhibition game. It will be the first contest for the visitors. Auburn is coming off a 108-57 win vs. Victory University last Tuesday.

Barbee gave his Tigers generally high marks for how they performed in the first exhibition game, but said he wanted to see better overall play on defense.

"We were excited to put one team together after playing against each other for quite a few weeks," Barbee said of what he saw after studying video of the game vs. Victory University.

"We identified a lot of different things that we needed to work on," he added. "We are further along than we thought in some areas, but there are a lot of areas where we have a great amount of work to do."

Rob Chubb

Senior center Rob Chubb led the Tigers in the first exhibition game with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Five other Tigers scored in double figures with freshman Shaquille Johnson going for 15 and two more freshmen, Jordan Price and Jordon Granger, chipping in with 13 points apiece. Seniors Frankie Sullivan and Noel Johnson each added 11 points.

Auburn defeated Georgia Southwestern 78-50 in an exhibition game last year. The only returning starter for the Hurricanes is 6-10 senior forward Milos Kleut from Belgrade, Serbia, who averaged 10.2 and 5.2 rebounds last season.

"Georgia Southwestern State lost some seniors off of last year's team, but they have a couple really good returning players," Barbee said. "They are very good in transition and they do a really good job of moving the ball and posting it to their big kid (Kleut) inside.

"It's going to be a game where we are really going to have to get down and guard, and our defensive assignments are going to be crucial," the coach added.

Shaquille Johnson was 7-7 from the field in the first exhibition game with three dunks.

On Friday the Tigers will play the IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne) Mastodons, a team out of the Summit League, which finished 11-19 last season.

Barbee said he believes his squad has been improving throughout the preseason. "The guys are working very hard," he noted. "The new guys are picking things up quickly. The veterans are doing well, and they are playing well.

"We expect great leadership out of our seniors," the coach added. "We are excited where we are now and I think we are right on pace."

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