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Explorers using practice time wisely

I really like the opportunity to have extended practice time durung the holidays. It is a chance to do a lot of teaching, make certain changes, get a lot of repetitions and practice with high energy. When we have a game every few days we try to conserve some energy, stay healthy and work on some game-specific strategy for our next opponent. Lately, we have been able to focus on us and go all out. We are hoping it helps us against a tough 7-4 Manhattan team at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Their four leading scorers are perimeter players who can drive and shoot. Defending them will be key.

At 6-5 we are off to a solid start that would be much better if we would have won close games against Florida State and Southern Mississippi. We are focusing on constant effort and focus in practice to make the difference in close games. Vernon Goodridge is feeling better after playing with bruised ribs. With health, better conditioning and added game experience we feel he will have a strong A-10 season. We are especially pleased with the consistency of Kimmani Barrett. All our other players are aware of where they need to improve and are working hard at it. Finishing with a good non-conference record is key with games left against Manhattan and Howard before the A-10 starts.