BEAUMONT, Texas – The Lamar University men’s basketball team has begun making preparations for the 2017-18 season. For the Cardinals, it will not be their first workout as they were granted early practice time over the summer to prepare for their exhibition games in Costa Rica.
“There is always excitement surrounding the start of a new season,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “For the first time in several years we have a veteran team. The one thing a veteran lineup provides is an understanding of the hard work required of them as well as bring a business attitude to the court.
“Our guys like being around each other, and they work hard. There is an old adage that says ‘no one has drowned in sweat.’ We need to have that approach throughout the season,” added Price.
Coming off a 19-win campaign and a trip to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament – the team’s first postseason appearance since 2012 – the Cardinals have high expectations entering the new season. A great deal of those expectations are centered on the number of returning veterans. LU returns seven letterwinners and four starters from last season, including first-team All-Southland selection Colton Weisbrod.
The team’s first first-teamer since 2012 (Mike James), Weisbrod ranked among the league leaders in points, rebounds and field goal percentage a season ago. In addition to Weisbrod, the other returning starters are guards Joey Frenchwood (8.4 ppg/1.9 rpg/4.2 apg) and Zjori Bosha (6.6/3.9/1.2) and center Josh Nzeakor (8.2/3.9/0.6).
Although the Southland Conference has yet to release its preseason poll, numerous publications have picked the Cardinals to win the 2018 regular-season title including Lindys Magazine. In addition to selecting Big Red as its favorite, Lindys also named Weisbrod as its SLC Preseason Player of the Year.
“Being a veteran team is more than just the age of your players, and how long they’ve been with you,” said Price. “You also have to be a veteran in your approach to the game. It is refreshing to start a season with a veteran lineup. Basketball is a long season and we have to be mature in our approach and remain focused. This is a situation these guys have not been in yet during their time at Lamar. In the past, we haven’t been expected to do much. We now have a target on us, so we have to understand we will get everyone’s best effort. We have to be ready to match that effort and intensity every day.”
The Cardinals open the regular season Friday, Nov. 10 at Tulsa. The Cardinals will tip off the home portion of the schedule four nights later against Coastal Carolina. All LU home games will be played in the Montagne Center.
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