Official Start of EFSC Basketball Practices Begin; Teams Eager To Get Started
By Mark DeCotis // October 1, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Basketball season begins Thursday as Eastern Florida’s men’s and women’s team hold their first official practices.
The men practice at 1 p.m. and the women at 4.
Both teams have been conducting pre-season workouts but now get down to business with pre-season jamborees scheduled Saturday for the men and Sunday for the women, both at Tallahassee Community College.
The Titan Madness season kickoff event is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the Titan Field House on the Melbourne Campus, promising an evening of basketball entertainment and giveaways.
Admission is free.
The season-openers follow soon thereafter. The men begin things with the Oct. 30-31 Eastern Florida Halloween Classic at the Titan Field House, playing USC-Salkahatchie at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 and Atlanta Metro at 2 p.m. Oct. 31.
Daytona State plays Atlanta Metro at 5 p.m. Oct. 30 and USC-Salkahatchie at noon on Oct. 31.
The Eastern Florida women open their season by hosting ASA Miami at 4 p.m. on Oct. 31, rounding out the day’s tripleheader. Admission to Titan home events is free.
The men finished 29-5 last season, winning their third straight Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference championship. They played in the championship game of the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons and reached the NCJAA Division I National Championship tournament for the first time since 2000. They also extended their home court winning streak to 47 games, earned a No. 6 national ranking and a No. 2 state ranking.
Head coach Jeremy Shulman won his 100th game as a Titan and earned his third straight Southern Conference Coach of the Year award.
The Titan women finished the season at 22-8 after a 7-23 record the season before. They won the school’s first Southern Conference championship since 2002 and reached the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. They earned a No. 6 state ranking and a No. 19 national ranking.
Head coach Jim Grimes was the Southern Conference Coach of the Year.
“We are excited to officially get the season going with the first day of practice,” Grimes said.
“The team has worked very hard in the pre-season and we are looking forward to continuing that effort in official practices.”
Both teams have a nucleus of returning players – including first-team All-Southern Conference selections power forward Djordje Beronja for the men and point guard Nene Johnson for the women – and a talented, eager crop of freshmen and second-year players.
All are necessary to compete in the rugged Southern Conference and throughout Florida which last season produced men’s national champion Northwest Florida State and women’s national champion Chipola College. The College of Central Florida won the men’s national title in 2013.
“We are excited to officially start practice tomorrow and really turn things up a few notches,” Shulman said.
“We’ve had a great pre-season, but now we can really focus on getting better as a team. We have an outstanding group that is not only hard-working, but extremely eager to learn every day.”
The Titans also have bolstered their coaching staffs with 1978 national championship-winning coach Lynn Cundiff and University of Texas third-all-time leading scorer Reggie Freeman joining Shulman and third-year assistant Anthony Jackson for the men.
Former Palm Beach State and Warner Christian University player Mckenzie Brisson and longtime local coach Gary Woodmansee join Grimes and third-year assistant Olivia Atwell for the women.