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WKU head coach Ray Harper worked the Hilltoppers for the first time on Monday

BOWLING GREEN, Ky - Western Kentucky head coach Ray Harper worked his rebuilt squad for the first time this season on Monday

It's always a big day in the Bluegrass when basketball is underway and things started rolling in Bowling Green on Monday as head coach Ray Harper worked his rebuilt Hilltoppers team for more than two hours on Monday.

Practicing inside the auxillary gym at E.A. Diddle Arena, Harper took full advantage of the first day.

"There was a lot of teaching today, which is good,” head coach Ray Harper said. “There is a lot of room for improvement, like any team with this many new guys at this time of year. We are constantly adding things offensively and defensively, and you have to be able to keep up. Practices are going to get a little more extended and a little more detailed each day moving forward.”

With just two returning starters from last seasons 20-12 team and ten new faces on his roster, Harper will need to lean on the newcomers for significant contributions from the get-go this season.  With so many additions to his team, Harper anticipates a learning curve and says the key is patience.

"It's fun, but you have to be patient," he said. "There's going to be mistakes, but you have to be patient."

While the mistakes are a given with a rebuilt team, the effort has been there during the off season and into the first day of practice on The Hill.

"I like it," he continued. "The guys are trying. I haven't had to coach effort at all this preseason."

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