Coach Speak Part Two

Part two of the interview with men's basketball coach Kermit Davis gives us some insight on the upcoming season.

Part two of the interview with men's basketball coach Kermit Davis gives us some insight on the upcoming season.

Fans will have plenty of opportunities to see the Blue Raiders in action as the season ticket package includes 17 home games. The Blue Raiders will host local foes Austin Peay and Belmont as well as conference rivals South Alabama and Western Kentucky.

"We have the most home games we've had in the last twenty years," Davis said. "We play seven home games before the students break for Christmas which is great. We want as many chances to play in front of our home fans as possible and this year we have that."

Included in the home season ticket package is the Sun Belt Classic in Nashville. Middle Tennessee will host Memphis inside the Sommet Center on December 15. That game is part of a double-header as Western Kentucky will face off against Tennessee later that night. The Middle Tennessee-Memphis contest can be seen on ESPN2.

"It's great for us," said Davis. "It took all four teams to make this work. I appreciate the other coaches for making this happen. We're going to have over 16,000 people in the arena and it's a home game on our season ticket package. Plus the game is on ESPN2 which is great."

When the Blue Raiders do go on the road, the task will not be easy. Middle has to travel to Houston and Tennessee along with the road conference schedule.

"We have a tough non-conference schedule by going to Tennessee, Houston, and Belmont plus several other games against conference favorites," said Davis. "I think it'll be good for us and give us a test for where we need to be come tournament time."

If Middle wants to reach the NCAA tournament this season, Desmond Yates will have to avoid a sophomore slump. Yates averaged 11 points per game and led the Blue Raiders in scoring in ten games last season. Yates was forced to play out of position for most of the season due to injuries and Davis believes moving him back to his natural position will only help his progress.

"Desmond has worked his tail off in the weight room," Davis said. "We need him to rebound on a consistent basis. This year he'll be back at the "four" position which is his natural position. Last year we had to play him at the "three" cause of injuries so I think he'll be even better this season."

Before the Blue Raiders can reach the ultimate goal of making the big dance, they must first take care of Davis' smaller goals.

"One goal for me is to win more home games," Davis said. "We've been great on the road but we need to take care of business in the Murphy Center. We want to win our division."

With no seniors on the Blue Raider roster, Davis can look forward to a bright future with this group of players.

"What's really great is that everybody on this team will come back next year," Davis said. "This year we can have a great team and then it's nice to know that all of those guys will be back the next year."

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