Tulane Hoops Began Practice Friday

"We are excited to start the 2005-06 basketball season," Dickerson said. "Given what happened to our city and campus, we've had this date circled on our calendar for the last month. During individuals, we feel we have improved dramatically, especially considering we started two weeks late. The players and coaches decided to come together as a team in order to learn a new system and our new style of play."

COLLEGE STATION, Texas–The Tulane University men's basketball team held their first team practice of the 2005-06 season on Friday, Oct. 14, when the Green Wave took the court at 10 p.m. at Reed Arena on the campus of Texas A&M University.

Tulane, under the direction of first-year head coach Dave Dickerson, has been participating in individual drills for the past three weeks, but the Green Wave took the floor as a complete unit for the first time Friday. The 2005-06 season is the first season in which the NCAA allowed programs to begin practice before midnight on the second Saturday of October.

"We are excited to start the 2005-06 basketball season," Dickerson said. "Given what happened to our city and campus, we've had this date circled on our calendar for the last month. During individuals, we feel we have improved dramatically, especially considering we started two weeks late. The players and coaches decided to come together as a team in order to learn a new system and our new style of play."

Tulane's new style will no doubt resemble the play of the Maryland Terrapins, where Dickson starred as a student-athlete from 1985-89 and served as an assistant coach for the past nine seasons. Dickerson also had assistant coaching stints at Radford (1992-96), James Madison (1991-92) and Gardner Webb (1990-91). His teams posted winning records each year and qualified for the postseason 10 times, including winning a national championship with Maryland in 2002.

Since accepting the head coaching job at Tulane on April 1, Dickerson has assembled a staff of Benji Taylor, Steve Prohm and Andrew Novick. He and his staff had been working hard in recruiting and preparation for the 2005-06 season when the devastating affects of Hurricane Katrina forced the Green Wave teams to scatter across the Southeast.

Dickerson and the men's basketball team wound up in College Station, Texas, where they have called Texas A&M since early September. The Tulane team will to remain in College Station throughout the fall with hopes of returning to New Orleans in late December or early January in time for the 2006 spring semester.

The Green Wave return 10 lettermen from the 2004-05 season, including seniors Quincy Davis (Los Angeles, Calif./McGill- Toolen HS) and Vytas Tatarunus (Kaunas, Lithuania/Tidewater Academy) and 2004 Conference USA All-Freshman Team honoree Taylor Rochestie (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS). Davis led the team last year with 13.7 points and 6.1 rebounds a game, while Rochestie paced the club with 41 3-pointers while ranking second in points and assists with averages of 10.9 and 3.7, respectively.

Also returning for the upcoming season are juniors Vincent Camper (Oxford, Miss./Oxford HS), Kory Castine (Marrero, La./ Archbishop Shaw HS) and Chris Moore (McKinney, Texas/Maine Central Institute), and sophomores David Gomez (Baton Rouge, La./Episcopal HS), Robinson Louisme (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS), Donnie Stith (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem HS) and Matt Wheaton (Houston, Texas/Mayde Creek HS).

Joining the team for Dickerson's first season at the helm of the Green Wave are true freshmen Daniel Puckett (McEwen, Tenn./ McEwen HS) and Ryan Williams (Jonesboro, Ark./Jonesboro HS). Junior Andrew Garcia (Pittsburg, Pa./Central Catholic HS) practiced with the team last season while sitting out as a transfer from the University of Pittsburgh.

"Tonight signifies the start of the college basketball season, which is very meaningful to our program," Dickerson said. "We worked through our preseason under some trying times, so we all look forward to getting started."

Dickson and the Green Wave will look to improve on a 10-18 overall mark and a 4-12 C-USA record, which put Tulane in 12th place in the final league standings.

--www.tulanegreenwave.com--


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