MOREHEAD, Ky. (WYMT) -- Official team practices are underway for the Morehead State men's basketball program. The NCAA's new legislation allows teams 30 practices in a 42-day window leading up to their regular-season openers.
"This is an exciting time of year for everyone associated with college basketball," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "I'm really happy the NCAA has given us two additional weeks this year to work with our players. That will be really helpful."
Morehead State returns eight players, including seniors Bakari Turner (8.2 ppg), Chad Posthumus (7.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Drew Kelly (7.1 ppg). Junior Angelo Warner (10.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.5 apg) also saw significant minutes in 2012-13.
The Eagles have added the Ohio Valley Conference's No. 1 recruiting class, according to Hoop Scoop Online. Six of Morehead State's nine newcomers will be eligible right away, while seven have already played college basketball.
"I've been pleased with the leadership Bakari, Chad, Drew and Angelo have all shown," Woods said. "I'm excited about our group of nine newcomers, but those young men need to get used to how fast we practice and play every day."
Associate Head Coach Dylan Howard, Assistant Coach Brian "B.J." Ellis and Assistant Coach Beau Braden all return to the coaching staff for 2013-14. The program's graduate managers are Martiese Morones and Jonathan Mattox.
Morehead State will play its lone exhibition on Nov. 2 when St. Catharine (Ky.) visits at 7 p.m. ET. The Eagles open their 31-game regular-season schedule at home on Nov. 9 when Mid-Continent (Ky.) provides the opposition at 7 p.m.
MSU's slate features 10 dates against postseason teams from a year ago, including Pac-12 Conference member UCLA (Nov. 22), Conference USA foe Southern Mississippi (Dec. 4) and Southeastern Conference opponent Tennessee (Dec. 23).
The Eagles will play 15 tilts at Johnson Arena, including non-conference match-ups with Conference USA opponent Marshall (Nov. 17), Horizon League member Wright State (Dec. 2) and Mid-American Conference foe Bowling Green (Dec. 15).
"Our goal is to contend for an Ohio Valley Conference championship, and I feel like we have the pieces to do that this season," Woods said. "We have a very challenging non-conference schedule, but that will help prepare us for league play."
Morehead State finished 15-18 overall and 8-8 in the OVC last season. The Eagles advanced to the second round of the conference tournament.