A familiar sound has returned to the Coors Events Center as both the men's and women's basketball teams hope to improve on last year's records after wrapping up their first week of practice last week.
Men's basketball head coach Jeff Bzdelik said he is excited for the future of his team, but he admits they're still young and very inexperienced.
"This basketball team is going to be extremely young, and very inexperienced," Bzdelik said. "But at the same time, we're excited on where we're going and we can't lose sight of the vision we have for this basketball program."
Last Saturday, Bzdelik announced the captains for this squad, with senior Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, junior Dwight Thorne II, and sophomore Cory Higgins getting the honors.
Thorne II said he is trying to become one of the vocal leaders for this squad.
"I'm trying to be a little more vocal," Thorne II said. "I think being a little more vocal is going to be the key because I feel I try to work on and off of the basketball floor to set a good example for them."
The women's team also finished their first week with a lot of enthusiasm by the players to improve on their 2007-08 campaign, which saw the team make it to the Final Four of the Women's NIT.
However, head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said the team needs to take the next step to make it to the national tournament.
"It's going to be a combination of great players, it's going to be a combination of mental toughness, it's going to a combination of building on what we did last year, and finding players who play for 40 minutes and make an impact on this program," McConnell-Miller said.
McConnell-Miller will be welcoming two freshmen to this squad in Alyssa Fressle from Highlands Ranch, Colo. and Julie Seabrook from British Columbia, Canada.
Sophomore Britney Blythe said that both freshmen are going to fit well with the team.
"They're really good," Blythe said. "They're going to fit in nicely this year."
The women's team opens the regular season home on Nov. 16 against Central Florida, while the men's team will open their regular season two days earlier on Nov. 14 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Blythe said the upcoming season for both squads is going to be a journey to March.
"This isn't a sprint," Blythe said. "This is a journey, so if we keep trucking each day and coming in and working hard like the past week, we should be fine."
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