FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2008
Men’s basketball starts practice on Friday
Marcus Allen
Marcus Allen
A new season begins on Friday for the JU men’s basketball team.

The Dolphins will hit the floor for their first practice at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in preparation for the season opener on Nov. 15 at home against Florida State.

“We’re excited to get on the floor and get practice started,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “It’s an exciting time of year as we finally get to put all of the hard work in the offseason into action as a team.”

JU enters the season with high hopes after two straight winning seasons, culminating with the Dolphins appearance in the Atlantic Sun Conference championship game on ESPN2 last season. It was JU’s first appearance in a conference title game since 1989.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us to get back to where we were last season,” Warren said. “This group knows the level of commitment it is going to take for us to reach our goal of winning the conference and going to the NCAA Tournament.”

The Dolphins return all five starters from last year’s team and the top eight players in the playing rotation, led by junior point guard Ben Smith – a preseason all-conference selection.

Aiding Smith will be a cast of veterans and newcomers, headlined by senior center Marcus Allen – who starts the season just two points away from becoming the 24th player in JU history to record 1,000 points in their career.

Balancing out Allen will be junior forward Lehmon Colbert, who was an A-Sun all-freshman team selection two years ago.

The Dolphins will face a daunting schedule, with three postseason participants visiting the Arena this season – Florida State (Nov. 15), American (Nov. 22) and Belmont (Dec. 4). JU will also face three other teams that played in the postseason a year ago at Georgetown (Nov. 17), at Baylor (Nov. 24) and at Ohio State (Dec. 17).

SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW: JU basketball season tickets are on sale now, starting at $150. There are several season ticket plans available and you can order them through the official JU athletics website – JUDolphins.com.