Cliff Warren Era begins on Saturday

Nov. 3, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The fastest 40 minutes in Jacksonville debuts Saturday as the JU men's basketball team opens its 2005-06 season with an exhibition game against Flagler. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium.

The game also marks the first game of the Cliff Warren Era at JU. Warren, who was named head coach on April 20th, has his work cut out for him.

Warren inherits a roster which borders on the extremes. There are five seniors and two juniors who figure to form the starting lineup, while there are six freshmen who will be called upon to come off the bench.

"I'm excited to get started and see how we perform in a game situation," Warren said. "We're adding new things each day, but with a new team and a new style of play, I want to make sure that everyone is learning what we're teaching. This is a great opportunity to see how far we've come and how far we have to go."

Warren's first team is by the trio of senior returnees in the back court. Senior swingman Antonio Cool is the top returning scorer from last year, averaging 11.3 points per game. Cool also led the team with 47 3-pointers, hitting 40.5 percent of his shots from behind the arc.

He is joined in the back court by the senior guard tandem of Aubrey Conerly and Jesse Kimbrough. Kimbrough stepped up late last season, finishing the year by averaging 10.8 points per game while dishing out a team-leading 90 assists.

Conerly averaged 6.5 points per game while dishing out 70 assists as well.

"These guys have played a lot of basketball in their careers and we are going to depend on their experience and leadership this season," Warren said.

With the new coach also comes a new style of play, one that Warren believes will brings fans back to Swisher Gymnasium time and time again.

"We're going to play with a lot of energy and a lot of passion," Warren said. "When we practice, we leave everything out on the floor and we'll play like that as well. I want our young men to give everything they have not just on the floor, but in the classroom as well."

Admission to Saturday's exhibition game is free.