Just like the football team, the hoop squad will be sporting new uniforms courtesy of Nike. However, the new togs aren't in yet, and aren't scheduled to arrive until about a week before the season starts. The squad is practicing in new Nike gear, and will ahve their team photos taken in their warmups.
A new policy this year kept freshmen from talking to the media on this day. Junior college transfer Chaz Briggs was out to meet and greet, but Jonathan Hargett, Tyrone Sally and Drew Schifino were not made available for interviews.
Despite the no interview policy, Hargett didn't take long to make an impression. He displayed his passing ability with a double pump wraparound pass on a three on two transition drill, then hustled back on the other end to reject a shot by seven foot Ales Chan.
Hargett's quickness, ballhandling and vision were quickly apparent for all to see. Coach Gale Catlett's assessment was as effusive as for any freshman he's ever coached.
"He can shoot as well as anyone on our team. He can jump as well as anyone on our team. He can pass it better than anyone on our team, and he can take the ball from anyone on our team that he wanta to. I haven't had many guys that can do those kinds of things," said Catlett of Hargett, who has already seen some time with the first group. "One of the least worries I have is getting Hargett ready."
"He was a junior college four, but it's a stretch to make him a Big East four. He certainly is a Big East three, so he'll probably swing between both of those spots this year.
Briggs will have to use his ballhandling skills and quickness to make an offensive impact at the four position. According to Catlett, he has the skill to get around some of the physical players at that position.
The staff is looking for more vocal participation from the forward contingent of Josh Yeager, Chris Moss, Tyrone Sally and Chaz Briggs, especially on defensive drills where communication is the key.
"They won't talk," said Catlett of the silent four. "They're just quiet by nature. We can't get them to talk. We need to get them to talk during the drills."
When given the chance to respond to that comment, Yeager, who answers questions with an air of confidence that he didn't have last year, sees it as a combination of personality and newness.
"Chris Moss and I are quiet people, and I think the new guys, just because they are new, aren't talking a lot. When we get to know each other a little bit more, I think that will take care of itself."