Panthers Back To Work In Preparation For 2012-13 Season
James Haarsma

James Haarsma
The start of the school year this week means the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team is back together in preparation for the 2012-13 season.

For the next six weeks, the Panthers will be engaged in conditioning work, weight room training and small amounts of on-court workouts leading up to the official start of practice in mid-October.

Last season, Milwaukee won 20 games and finished in a tie for third place in the Horizon League. The Panthers have their sights set even higher this season, with the return of three starters and eight letterwinners along with the addition of a talented group of newcomers. Head coach Rob Jeter knows the path to a championship must include plenty of hard work this time of year.

"We're trying to challenge our guys to work harder, push themselves and to get out of their comfort zone," Jeter said. "We want them to focus in on the short term and getting through that next hill or that next rep in the weight room. Hopefully that will carry over onto the court where they'll be focused on the next possession and giving the maximum effort at the moment rather than being focused on the whole 40 minutes."

This past summer was the first where coaches were allowed to hold practices, with summers previously limited to voluntary strength and conditioning work and play in summer leagues. Jeter says the additional workouts, and contact with the players, was a great benefit.

"I thought it was awesome," Jeter said. "To be honest, in the summer, players need some instruction. You have freshmen and other new guys to your program coming in and taking classes, and you want to make sure they are starting off and getting the right attitude. When you just have pickup games all summer, they start to go downhill at some point. Now when you throw in practices, the quality of instruction and level of games gets to a point where the guys are truly learning something."

But now the preparation gets even more real with the first exhibition game only two months away.

"We're excited," Jeter said. "I like the guys we have back, I like the pieces we have added and I am very excited to see it all come together. Our schedule is going to be tough and the league is going to be deep and strong but I believe we'll be up to the challenge."

This season brings about one major change, and that is the return of all home games to the on-campus Klotsche Center. This will mark the first time since the 2002-03 season the venue is the Panthers' permanent home. Full season-ticket packages for 2012-13 range in price from $75-$250, with limited opportunities available for courtside seating. Weekender packages will also be available, with single-game tickets on sale in October. For more information on ticket packages for the upcoming year, contact the ticket office at 414-229-5886.



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