Back to the basics for Auburn basketball

AUBURN - For Auburn's basketball, the first two weeks of practice under first-year coach Tony Barbee have been all about the basics. They'll put what they've learned on display Wednesday night in an exhibition game against West Alabama at the Auburn Arena.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee gives instructions during practice/Todd Van Emst photo

"There is just not enough time in the day and not enough practices allotted before our first exhibition game," Barbee said. "We are prioritizing as a staff the things that we want to have in. You can't have in your whole system, offense and defense, by the first exhibition game."

The first two weeks, Barbee said, have been focused on fundamentals.

"You prioritize what you want to have in by that first game, evaluate from there and see what we want to add by the second exhibition game and down the line as we get closer to the season opener," Barbee said. "You want to have enough in that you can give yourself an opportunity to compete and win, but when you have everything so new for everybody, I have had to catch myself not being patient as to where we are and their understanding of how we have to play."

The Tigers will play Columbus State in their second and final exhibition game on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. Admission for exhibition games is free.

Junior guard Kenny Gabriel says practices have been encouraging.

"The intensity of every practice has been great," Gabriel said. "We are moving along well. We are getting aggressive with offense and defense and learning it and putting it together."

The Tigers play the inaugural game in Auburn Arena on Nov. 12 against UNC-Asheville at 8 p.m. and will also host the three-day Global SportsHoops Showcase from Nov. 19-21.

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