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Davis excited as open of basketball practice approaches

Blue Raiders hit court at 9 a.m.

October 11, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Head Basketball Coach Kermit Davis likes everything about the team he returns for the 2007-08 season. The veteran coach will find out much more in the coming days and weeks as the Blue Raiders began official practice at Murphy Center Saturday at 9 a.m. Practice is open to the public.

Experience is a big key for the Blue Raiders as Middle Tennessee returns six players who have been in Davis' program three years and seven of his returning players made at least one start in 2006-07. In all, the roster includes six juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen.

"Our strength is definitely in our upperclassmen," Davis said. "We have some newcomers who are talented and who we expect to impact our program but our strength is in the veterans who have been in our program for multiple years and know what is expected of them. The best thing is they are all back next year."

Davis expects the experience, coupled with a strong offseason program to make a significant difference when preseason practice begins this weekend.

"I have to give our players a lot of credit," Davis said. "The returning players have had the best workout and strength conditioning programs in consecutive years since I have been here so they deserve a lot of credit, along with our strength coach, Jason Spray, who has done a great job with our team. Our team is the strongest and most fit it has been in consecutive years since I've been at Middle Tennessee and our new players have made great strides, too."

Middle Tennessee returns 73 percent of its scoring, 68 percent of its rebounding, and 87 percent of its assists from last season when the Blue Raiders reached the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament before falling to eventual champion North Texas.

The Blue Raider veterans include Darren Avery, Dino Hair, John Hopson, Theryn Hudson, Nigel Johnson, Kevin Kanaskie, Calvin O'Neil, and Desmond Yates. Newcomers include Broderick Gilchrest, Demetrius Green, Uriah Hethington and Josh Sain.

Middle Tennessee makes its first public appearance when it faces Lincoln Memorial in exhibition action, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., at Murphy Center.

SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE: Fans may purchase Middle Tennessee men's basketball tickets by calling the Middle Tennessee Ticket Office at 1-888-YES-MTSU or (615) 898-2103. This year's season ticket package features a record 17 games, including the Dec. 15 contest against preseason No. 1 Memphis at the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville. The ticket for that contest includes Middle Tennessee's game vs. Memphis, as well as the second game of the twinbill which pits Western Kentucky and Tennessee. The season-ticket package also includes all six games of the First Shot Exempt Tournament, as opposed to only the three games involving Middle Tennessee (Nov. 15-17). Price for the package is $140.

Fans may also purchase the Blue Raider Combo Pack, which includes season tickets for both the men's and women's teams, for $210 per season. The deadline for season ticket renewals is Monday, Oct. 22.

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