The Drake University men’s basketball team hit the court
Friday evening for the official start of team practices for the upcoming
Head coach Mark Phelps’ squad began preseason preparations
months ago with team workouts, but with the first exhibition contest just 22
days away, the official start of team practices brings with it a renewed sense
“I thought the guys really understood ‘this is the start of
practice,’” Phelps said. “Their energy, their disposition and their excitement
told us that they understood what we were doing. This is the first step in long
journey this year and the guys really had a great understanding of exactly what
That understanding is extremely significant given that
Phelps is charged with getting nine newcomers on his roster up to speed
quickly. However, he has the benefit of five returning players that have
started at various points in their careers to provide on-court leadership and
“I thought the older guys have done a tremendous job,”
Phelps said. “Jordan, Seth and Ben are guys that have stuck out to me. I
thought our older guys did an excellent job and certainly the continuity of our
coaching staff was helpful. Chris Braselton jumped in and is a talented
assistant coach that didn’t miss a beat. Overall, the atmosphere in practice is
exactly what we’re looking for and that’s in large part due to the older guys
really stepping up.”
The squad will continue practice throughout the weekend as
Phelps aims to maintain the same energy he saw in the first team practice.
“It was really exciting to get together today and we set the
tone in our team meeting prior to practice,” Phelps said. “Our younger guys did
a great job of bringing a lot of effort. Certainly there was some sloppiness,
but that’s to be expected. Overall, I’m really happy with the energy, the
effort, the excitement and the readiness to practice.”
As the Bulldogs continue their preparation for the season,
fans can get their first look at the squad on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the team’s
annual ‘Prime Time Preview.’ The Knapp Center doors to the event open at 6 p.m.
with both the men’s and women’s team signing autographs on the upper level of the
concourse before taking to the court at 7 p.m.
Both teams will also participate in the annual Tip Off
Breakfast at the downtown Marriott on Oct. 25 at 7 a.m. Purchase tickets for the Tip Off Breakfast online here.
The men’s squad gets its first taste of competition on Nov.
3 with an exhibition contest against Southwest Baptist at 7 p.m. Season tickets
for the upcoming season are on sale via the Drake athletic ticket office by
calling 515-271-DOGS or by clicking here.
Mini-packs go on sale Oct. 15 and single-game tickets will be available starting