Men's basketball set to open the season on Sunday

Nov. 9, 2006


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All of the preparation, scrimmages, practices and conditioning comes to a conclusion as the Jacksonville men's basketball team opens its 2006-07 season on Sunday at Savannah State.

Tipoff is set for 4 p.m., with Barry Milligan and Marcus Perez calling the action on ESPN 1460-AM. The pregame show will begin at 3:45 p.m.

"We're excited to get the season started and play somebody other than ourselves," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "This group has worked hard in the preseason and is anxious to get into a game."

The Dolphins enter the season with seven freshmen on the roster and a total of 12 underclassmen. Warren's second squad at JU features three seniors, including Jesse Kimbrough, who received a sixth-year of eligibility from the NCAA after a season-ending injury early last season.

Sunday's game also marks the renewal of the series between JU and Savannah State that started in 1999. JU has won all 10 of the previous meetings, including five on the road. Three of those five wins have come by six points or less.

"Savannah State is a hungry team, just like us," Warren said. "We have to play hard and consistent for 40 minutes for us to win. We are reminding our guys that they can't take a play off, because that's the play that can be the difference between a win or a loss."

The game also marks the beginning of a hectic season-opening week for JU. The Dolphins play on the road at Savannah State on Sunday, open the home schedule on Tuesday at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena and will wrap things up with a trip to Gainesville on Thursday to face the defending national champions, Florida.

"This is a very busy first week of the season and our older guys are telling the new guys what it is like and what they need to expect," Warren said. "Our seniors are doing a good job as leaders both on-and-off the floor, which is a good sign for the season."