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Blue Raiders face Union in exhibition action Tuesday

November 14, 2005 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - With less than one week remaining until the season opener against Utah State, Middle Tennessee will perform its only dress rehearsal of the preseason in exhibition action against Union University Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Murphy Center.

You may listen to the game live as GoBlueRaiders.com will offer an Internet-only audio broadcast beginning 20 minutes prior to tipoff.

The Bulldogs, located in Jackson, Tenn., are 4-0 on the season and currently ranked No. 6 nationally in NAIA. They have surpassed the century mark three times and are averaging 95.8 points in the four games.

"Union University will come in here undefeated and having scored a lot of points so I look forward to seeing how our team plays against them," Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis said. "As far as our team, we are still trying to give guys a lot of playing time and experience. Obviously, anytime you play you want to win, but we are going to play a lot of different people. We will be very basic in the game. The biggest thing is giving our players a chance to play in front of some people in more of a game situation and all that can do is help you."

Davis says he likes the manner in which his team has competed in practice and the overall progress the Blue Raiders are making, particularly for such a young squad. Middle Tennessee's roster includes nine newcomers, six of whom are freshmen, for the 2005-06 season.

One heralded newcomer; however, will not see action, and another may miss tonight's tune-up for the season opener. Davis has announced that freshman forward Dino Hair will take a redshirt season in 2005-06 after sustaining a season-ending knee injury last week. Junior guard Adam Vogelsberg, who has displayed uncanny accuracy from long range during the preseason and is a projected starter on the wing, could miss the Union game after suffering an ankle injury in Sunday's practice.

"I hate this for Dino because he had made such great progress," Davis said. "He had gained about 17 or 18 pounds and he played real well in our scrimmage, but the end result is he will get that fifth year and he's going to be a great player for us. Adam Vogeslberg nicked his ankle and he may not play. If he did play he would start. It will probably be a game-time decision, but I'm sure if we were playing Utah State he could play, but not at full speed. We may take a few days as a precaution to get him completely healthy."

The Blue Raiders have distributed the ball well in practices and utilized all their offensive strengths so Davis is excited to see if his team can get that aspect of their practice into the game against Union.

"Our team has been very competitive in practice," Davis said. "They are playing with more of a physicalness without fouling, which is something all teams are trying to concentrate on right now. It's the most unselfish team and the best passing team we have had since I've been here. They share the ball and our assists to baskets made have been a lot higher than it ever has been, so those things are encouraging."

Middle Tennessee will open the 2005-06 season against Utah State at Murphy Center, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.

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