Anyone else notice that Chris McNealy looks like he is the same height as Kevin Mulloy in this photo? / courtesy of UCI Athletics

Well the time is finally upon us. The NBA season  magic of college basketball is back tonight. The exhibitions don’t count in the record book, but statistics will be recorded, many players will get their first taste of live action college ball, and newcomers will start making movement in impressing their coaches. But while we’re waiting for the Anteaters and Cal Baptist to tip off tonight at 7 p.m., here’s some reading to get you prepared…

  • Barry Faulkner of the Daily Pilot talks to Coach Turner about the season at-hand. Turner likes that the team is longer and more athletic, and also thinks that he has a good shooting team. However, he comments that “… we look a little like a high school team that is wearing uniforms that don’t fit them.” This is expected from a team that has so many true freshman, but it also does not bode well for physical play, especially come conference time.
  • Over at the New University, Ian Massey predicts that the team will once again go 13-18 and lose in the first round of the Big West Tournament. One quote that I found very interesting, from Turner, regarding team chemistry: “What I’m hoping is that as time goes on, this team will come together more than we were able to do over the course of last season, because that’s the one thing that I look back on and I know that we had to be better about.” When I interviewed a few of last year’s players, they all agreed that they got along with each other much better than the previous year (2009-10). This quote from Turner seems to oppose that. Now, it’s very possible that many of the players on last year’s team were just putting on a front, but they genuinely seemed to get along fine last year. Maybe Turner expects something even more this year, or maybe he means that the friendships last year didn’t translate to on-court chemistry. Nonetheless, I feel like this year’s team, with so many kids in the same boat, should be able to put aside their differences and play selfless ball on the court.
  • New jerseys (again) and shoes this year, due to all UCI teams switching to Adidas sponsorship. Judging by the photo, things don’t look too different, with the biggest change being a clear decrease from last year’s sweet Kobe’s to this year’s rather pedestrian Adidas kicks.
  • A new video scoreboard in the Bren! Pictures to come.
  • Cal Baptist went 14-16 last year in their last year as an NAIA program. This year is their first in the DII Pacific West Conference. The Lancers play Northridge after UCI, so it will be interesting to compare how the two Big West teams did against the same opponent. UCI should be able to win by at least 10-15 points tonight.