The Murray State men’s basketball team took to the floor at the CFSB Center Friday evening for the first practice of the season and joined more than 340 other programs across the country in NCAA D-I doing the same.
The Racers start workouts with new head coach Steve Prohm and an eye on winning their third straight Ohio Valley Conference title and with it, a third straight season of post-season play.
However, on the first day, Prohm wasn’t looking that far ahead, but instead was thinking of this practice and anticipated improvement.
I heard a quote the other day that said, don’t just get through practice, get something from practice,” Prohm said. “We want to continue to improve defensively and that will be our emphasis. We want to get our core defense going.”
Prohm has a roster that has an experience group of veterans that has been with the program over the last several seasons and helped produce 54 wins. Ivan Aska, Jewuan Long and Donte Poole are the senior trio that will lead the Racers. The Racers will also count on returners Isaiah Canaan, Ed Daniel, Brandon Garrett and Latreze Mushatt.
“They’ve been great,” Prohm said “I’m going to rely on them a lot this season and count on their leadership. My one concern is depth. That’s the one thing we had the last two seasons. We nine or 10 guys that we could throw out there and play and we want to get to that with this group.”
The Racers open the season at home (Nov. 8) in an exhibition game with Bethel before playing the season opener (Nov. 11) at home against Harris-Stowe.
The Racers enter the 2011-12 season with eyes of winning their third straight Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship. MSU’s 22 titles and 14 tournament titles (including 14 NCAA appearances) is tops in the league.
Since 1990, MSU’s 11 league titles are tied for second in the nation with Duke and Gonzaga and trails only Kentucky with 12.
When it comes to consistent performance, the Racers rank among the best in the game. Murray State’s current streak of 24 consecutive winning seasons is tied with Connecticut for the fourth longest current streak and trails only Syracuse (41), Kansas (28) and Arizona (27).