GoBlueRaiders.com THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Men's Basketball Notebook - Oct. 24

First in a series of preseason notebooks on the Blue Raiders

October 24, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
Blue Raider basketball has begun practice for the upcoming season, and the men's team will play their first game on November 9th, an exhibition against North Alabama in Murphy Center. Middle Tennessee has five seniors, and we interviewed them along with Head Coach Kermit Davis for this notes column:

COACH DAVIS ON PRACTICE SESSIONS: "We have practiced seven times in the first five days, and two things have emerged. This is a very vocal, communicative group, and this is the best bunch of perimeter shooters that we have ever had. Just in the first week of practice, you can tell that we are a lot harder to defend. We have made a lot more perimeter shots." Davis singled out freshmen James Gallman and John David Little, junior college transfers James Washington and Rod Emanuel, and senior Calvin O'Neil as the most impressive so far."

SENIORS ON EXPECTATIONS FOR 2009-10:
Boogie Yates: "Everybody will probably pick us low because we have so many new players. We'll be just fine if we come to work every day, work hard and keep our dedication. We want to break the drought of not going to the NCAA Tournament"
Montarrio Haddock: "We have set goals to win at least 20 games, and win both the (Sun Belt) conference championship and the tournament, and go to the NCAA's. It will take a lot of work but we know we can do it."
Theryn Hudson: "We like being the underdogs. That is an advantage for us."
Calvin O'Neil: "We don't want to wind up like we did last year. We want to leave our fans something to remember us by."

ON YATES AS A CANDIDATE FOR HOMECOMING KING THIS WEEKEND:
Haddock: "I think he will probably win it. He's really popular."
Josh Jones: "He's got a real good chance to win."
O'Neil: "I'll be there for him. He knows a lot of people."
Yates: "I think I have a shot at it. My frat brothers put me up for it. It will be a lot of exposure for our basketball program even if I don't win."

YATES ON MOVING BACK TO HIS NORMAL POSITION THIS SEASON:
"It really feels good. I won't have to post up against somebody that weighs 280 pounds. With Theryn back (after being injured last season), that will open up the middle for me to operate."

THERYN HUDSON ON HIS DIFFERENT OUTLOOK:
"I am going to stay out of foul trouble this season. Then, my minutes will go up and so will my rebounding. I am going to be more aggressive under the basket, but more careful on fouling."

ON MAKING THE NCAA TOURNAMENT:
Yates: "We have put so much into our years here, five for me; we really want to get into the NCAA's."
O'Neil: "I want a Sun Belt ring, and then make a run in the NCAA Tournament."
Hudson: "We got so close two years ago, then had to sit at home and watch Western make their run, and now we want to make a run of our own."
Haddock: "That is one of our goals and we are working everyday to make it happen. It's been a long time for Middle Tennessee and it is time for us to go dancing."

GLOBAL SPORTS CHALLENGE:
The first four of five official games on the schedule for the Blue Raiders have been designated as a part of the Global Sports Challenge. They include road games at Ohio University on Nov. 15th, Marshall on Nov. 17th and North Carolina A&T on Nov. 23rd. Also included will be Middle Tennessee's second home game against Lamar University on Nov. 19th. This is part of an NCAA qualifying regular season multiple team event, and these games are considered exempt toward the total count of games for the season.

INJURY REPORT:
Senior forward Montarrio Haddock, who Davis termed the most consistent and toughest player on the team at the end of last season, is recovering from an MCL sprain, and should rejoin the team shortly. JUCO center Trevor Ottley is also out with an MCL sprain suffered in practice this week. His status is considered day-to-day. He has put on 15 pounds since arriving at Middle Tennessee, and is a tough, physical player around the basket who will be battling Theryn Hudson for playing time.

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.