Tigers Hold First Official Practice
Friday, September 29, 2017
Tigers Hold First Official Practice

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NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team opened practice for the highly-anticipated 2017-18 season on Friday night at the Gentry Center. The hard work from offseason workouts and conditioning was on display in the high-energy session.  

TSU, which has posted back-to-back winning seasons, is entering year four under Head Coach Dana Ford.

"We're really excited," Ford said. "We've got some new guys this year. This is their first opportunity to really show us what they're capable of. We've got some guys who have been here before who have bigger roles, so hopefully those guys can live up to the expectations that we have within our own program. There's a lot of unknowns, so that makes us excited, as well as a little bit nervous, but it's a good nervous."

Ford relied heavily on the team’s nine returning players to help the newcomers learn the drills and offensive sets utilized during practice. The day included a variety of areas ranging from defensive closeouts to offensive motion to defending the low post – all done at high intensity.

Tennessee State officially opens the season six weeks from today with a road test at Kansas on Nov. 10 in an ESPNU broadcast.

 

TSU Head Coach Dana Ford
"Hopefully we handle everything together as a team. Hopefully when adversity hits, it makes us stronger. We're looking for some leadership. That would be great to see. We're looking for guys that can make plays offensively and defensively, and guys who don't have a problem being over aggressive in terms of defense and rebounding. We're looking for players who don't mind sharing the basketball. There's a lot of things that if we see early will be very promising for us. There are also things that we don't anticipate them to figure out on their own and we're going to have to show them."
- On what he's hoping to see early 

"We've got some guys that are returning, so they know what to expect. Our new guys hopefully have learned from the returners in their short time here. As long as we get effort and positive attitude, and things are done as a team, I think things will go pretty well."
- On the blend of veterans and newcomers 

 

Senior Guard Darreon Reddick 
"It's great. My senior year. I've been here four years and I've seen a lot of changes to the school - from five wins to 20 wins. I'm excited to come back and try to end my senior year in a special way. Hopefully win the whole thing - that would be a great way to end my four-year career."
- On the start of practice  

"I'm just trying to see us all sticking together. Coach Ford in the first practices is going to be very intense and try to make us slide all over. I just want to see us come together as a team and make sure everybody sticks together through everything he throws at us."
- On what he hopes to see from his team early
 
"We worked hard all summer individually, so now we need to come together and lock in and just try to win. I just want to win. That's really the only thing I'm worried about this year is winning. Nothing else. Just winning."
- On being on the court together for practice