Panthers Eager To Get 2013-14 Season Underway
Sept. 26, 2013
MILWAUKEE - Practice officially begins later this week for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball, and the Panthers are eager to turn the page to the 2013-14 campaign.
There is a noticeable bounce back in everyone's step with the return to the U.S. Cellular Arena, and an influx of new talent has already started making its presence felt during preseason workouts.
Now, the Panthers are ready to put some big plans in action as the countdown to the start of the regular season gets underway in earnest.
First and foremost, there is a return to basics for Milwaukee on offense, hoping it will lead to an increase in shooting percentage and a decrease in turnovers. There is little question those are two areas of improvement for the Panthers, who shot just 38.8 percent from the field as a team and finished last in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio.
"We're just trying to get as skilled as we can," head coach Rob Jeter said. "We've added athleticism through recruiting and now we're coaching to add as much skill as possible. The development of skills like shooting the ball and moving to the right spots without the ball are the kinds of things that can really help us as a team. We know we have the pieces to get a lot better in those areas."
Jeter has been encouraged by the commitment his players have made toward getting better.
"What I am looking for is improvement by each player from last year. Improvement can be recruited in, but what I'm seeing is improvement from guys who battled through the season last year. That's what is impressing me," Jeter said. "I've seen guys in the weight room that are noticeably stronger than they were last year. I've seen a great deal of effort and enthusiasm from people to go through preseason workouts. When you consider some of the rough things that happened last year, it is especially encouraging to see such a positive attitude."
New rules are allowing for an earlier official start to practice, with Milwaukee getting into its regular schedule of on-court workouts this weekend. That gives UWM nearly a full month prior to its exhibition opening Oct. 31 against Marian. The regular season opener is Nov. 8 at Loyola.