Thursday, February 28, 2008

A vote for Lebo

So, who's the top college basketball coach in the state of Alabama?
According to voters on, it's Auburn's Jeff Lebo, and by a large margin. A check of the vote just minutes ago, at 1:10 a.m. central on Thursday, he had 43.9 percent of the vote.
The next-closest coach was UAB's Mike Davis, with 29.5 percent. South Alabama's Ronnie Arrow was the only other coach in double figures with 12.1 percent.
It's an interesting vote for Lebo, who has not won more than 17 games in any of his four Auburn seasons. With Auburn standing at 14-12, 4-9 SEC after losing at Mississippi State on Wednesday, the Tigers would have to win their final three regular-season games and one SEC Tournament game to best 17 victories this season.
The vote for Lebo shows a perception that he does more with less. He's dealt with injuries and unexpected personnel losses each year and eked out more wins than remaining talent justified.
Auburn entered this season with expectations of a breakthrough. The Tigers were to return their top eight players from a 17-win team.
A transfer, injuries, academics and forward Josh Dollard's unexpected medical redshirt for unspecified reasons reduced Auburn to seven available scholarship players for most of this season.
The Tigers were expected to fade in February, but they've won two of their last four games. They've continued to play hard and find ways to eke out wins here and there. They've played close against good teams like Vanderbilt.
So Lebo gets the vote this year, and he'll have a chance to breakthrough next year. Assuming everyone who could have eligibility is available ... and all four members of a top 25 recruiting class qualify ... he'll get the chance to show what he can do with a full roster of his recruits.
Then, perhaps, we can take another vote.

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