The Hofstra men's basketball team is set to officially launch the 2009/2010 season with the first of many practices they hopes will last well into March. Head coach Tom Pecora will be no doubt working his players hard both physically and mentally in preparation for a rigorous non-conference slate of games that starts in just 28 days at potential pre-season number-one ranked Kansas. Hofstra returns only five scholarship players from last season’s 21-11 team, but with one of those returnees being All-American candidate Charles Jenkins combined with seven talented newcomers such as second-team All New York City selection Chaz Williams, Pride fans have many reasons to be excited. Stay tuned to "Inside the Pride" and refresh your browser for constant updates of this debut Hofstra men’s basketball practice of the 2009/2010 season.
7:34- After a brief talk from Coach Pecora at half court the players begin to stretch under the west basket.
7:45- Players practice defensive stances with assistant coach Michael Kelly.
7:52- Team splits up and does half court one-one-drills.
7:57- About 20 fans in attendance for this first practice. Coach Pecora has always stressed that all Hofstra practices are open to the public and encourages fans to attend. There would probably be more fans tonight if it were not for the game 1 of the Yankees-Angels American League Championship Series.
8:01- Team splits up for rebounding drills.
8:05- Despite being only 5'9 freshman Chaz Williams is holding his own in rebound drill and showing that he can make up for lack of size with his quickness.
8:11- Williams showing solid shooting touch with two straight long jumpers during defensive drill.
8:22- Team splits up and works on defensive communication and sliding.
8:25- Five Hofstra women's basketball players have shown up to view practice.
8:30- Team does four-on-four half court mode while continuing to stress defensive sliding and communication.
8:42- I forgot to point out earlier that the men's basketball team has new blue and gold practice jersey with the numbers in an oval shape similar to what the women's team sported in their practice earlier this evening.
8:50- Team has spent the last 40 minutes working on defensive stances and communication. Now I see why Coach Pecora's teams are consistently at the top of the CAA in defense.
8:55- Charles Jenkins and Cornelius Vines collide with each other out of bounds battling for a lose ball on a rebound drill.
9:00- Practice ends with team meeting at half-court and breaking with "team first."
9:02- Players enter stands to thank fans who attended the practice.
9:05- Australian junior college transfer Brad Kelleher sticks around for extra free throw shooting.