JOHNSON CITY — The East Tennessee State men’s basketball team opened official workouts Friday afternoon at the MSHA Athletic Center — quite a bit earlier than past years following the implementation of a new NCAA rule.
Teams can now hold their first practice two weeks earlier than before after a change that allows them to have 30 days of practice in the six weeks before the first regular-season game.
Under the old rules, teams were allowed 24 practices over a 30-day period.
“It is certainly a change from past seasons, but we’re excited to begin full workouts and start preparing for the season,” said Bucs coach Murry Bartow, who returns just seven players from last year’s team and has eight new men on his roster.
“The makeup of the team is different, but we are expecting our returning players to provide leadership and production, and we’re also ready to see what the new guys can bring to the team,” Bartow added.
The Bucs, who have been participating in regular conditioning drills and other limited practice since the start of the fall semester, plan to practice Saturday and Sunday before taking a day off on Monday for academic work.