Grambling State University men’s basketball team opened its first day of official practice on Tuesday with a “new beginning.”
Ten of the 12 players on the team, they are either freshmen, transfers, redshirts from last season, or walk-ons. There are only two members of the team, Terry Rose and Steven Danridge, who actually played during the winless 2012-2013 season.
Even more, Danridge did not practice due to back pain.
“Steve has a back strain but we hope to have him back by the end of the week,” said Joseph Price, second year head coach.
During practice, the team introduced its offense and worked on professional development.
Practice was engaging and intense lasting nearly three hours. Price was tough on many new players.
He reminded Travis Hawkins, a potential post starter, he is one of the more athletic players on the team. It’s imperative for him to develop quickly and become a dominant force in the paint to alleviate the pressure on Danridge.
Danridge averaged 3.6 points in 17.5 minutes a game. The leading scorer for the team was Rose. He was named SWAC’s Freshman of the Year last season.
In practice, Rose looked to continue his routine of begin the shooting assassin looking to score and being aggressive. Remond Brown, freshman from Richwood High School in Monroe, may give Rose some competition for the starting 2-guard position.
With so many new players, positions, playing time and opportunity are wide open for the player who steps and takes control of their chances.
“The great thing about this year we have winners,” said Price.
“We wanted to recruit players that were used to winning, have passion and pride. With these three ingredients will change the culture of, expectations and perceptions of the program.”
Price noted that is exciting to know people are interested to see what his team will produce.
“Our new players are a lot more athletic and talented than last year,” said Price.
The Tigers will open on the road with a trip up north. Their season opener is against DePaul University in Chicago on Nov. 9 and then travel to Milwaukee to play Marquette University on Nov. 13.