Men's Basketball Weekly Practice Update - 11/11

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Compiled by blog contributor Ben Weiss...

The men's basketball team opens its season this Saturday at home against the University of California - Irvine. A few notes from the team's penultimate practice before 2010 officially tips off for the Trojans...

  • The team's practice ran about 30 minutes short, as will tomorrow's practice. Head Coach Kevin O'Neill is hoping to keep his squad rested for its first test of the year.
  • Although they are still far from midseason form, the team ran through its offensive sets with much more confidence and fluidity. A week and a half or two weeks ago, there were still several players forcing O'Neill to stop play and explain what they were doing incorrectly. It's a much more well-oiled machine at this point.
  • Practice concluded with free throws (something the team must improve since its 7-19 performance in the scrimmage against Point Loma) and a brief film session of the Illinois-UCI game, led by O'Neill.
  • The head coach hasn't yet decided on a starting lineup for Saturday, but the only position likely up for grabs is shooting guard - Donte Smith's experience and leadership versus Bryce Jones' size and athleticism. Although Jones had a strong showing in his preseason debut against Point Loma (17 points), Donte spent the entire preseason establishing himself as a vocal, emotional and mental leader. Regardless of who takes the starting spot, the sixth man won't stay on the bench long.
  •  James Boyd, the football defensive end who has expressed interest in playing on the basketball team as well, watched the first portion of practice. On Boyd's status, O'Neill said that he'll wait until the conclusion of football season before further evaluating the situation.
A few thoughts from the man they call KO...

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