Categorized | MTSU Basketball

Raiders hold first practice

Posted on 07 October 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee had its first official practice of the 2014-15 season on Tuesday afternoon in the newly renovated Murphy Center.

The Blue Raiders have a lot of new faces with nine newcomers on the squad with five freshman and four transfers.

“It’s so much different than the shotgun start we used to have years ago. We have a good familiarity with the team,” Head Coach Kermit Davis said. “We’ve been through 28 practices together since June so now we get to see how our guys respond to the day-to-day grind and the bumps and bruises. We’ve made a lot of progress and we have a lot of work to do but I’m looking forward to it.”

Today was the first time for the newcomers to play on the main floor in the Murphy Center after it underwent $11-million worth of renovations. The improvements to the arena include new arena lighting, a new roof, a new HVAC system, updated bathrooms and updated concessions.

“The place looks terrific,” Davis said. “I was here 14 years ago when they had different colored chairs in the arena. So for me to see the 14 year period of growth it’s really spectacular. For our new guys this is the first time they’ve ever shot in our arena so it’s great to be back in the Murphy Center. It will be a great experience for the fans and the players.”

MT returns six players including starter Reggie Upshaw Jr. Also returning to the Blue Raiders are seniors Jacquez Rozier and Marcus Tarrance, juniors Jaqawn Raymond and Gavin Gibson and sophomore Joshua Phillips.

“Our six guys coming back have really done a great job and that is who we will look to for leadership,” Davis said. “They’ve got to make a lot of progress in their own ways too on the floor. A lot will be written about our new players but I always say the strength of your team will be in the returning experienced players and those guys have worked extremely hard and have all made tons of improvement.”

The Blue Raiders were 24-9 overall last year and 13-3 in conference play to claim a share of the C-USA regular season crown in their first season of play in the league.

MT opens the 2014-15 season on Nov. 10 in an exhibition game against Martin Methodist at the Murphy Center. The Blue Raiders then play in four-consecutive home games in the regular season with Ohio Valley (Nov. 14) and Murray State (Nov. 18), followed by the first two games in the Emerald Coast Classic with Southern University (Nov. 22) and Northern Arizona (Nov. 25).

Season tickets are still on sale for the 2014-15 home slate. Tickets are $150 or fans can purchase a combination of both men’s and women’s season tickets at a discounted rate of $199. The men’s season ticket package includes 16 home games. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1-888-YES-MTSU.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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