FLORENCE, SC – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams officially began practice for the upcoming 2010-11 seasons on Friday (Oct. 15).
The Patriot men held a two-hour practice in the afternoon, while the FMU women worked out both in the morning and late afternoon.
The FMU men return eight lettermen, including two starters, from last season’s 18-10 squad – the second-highest win total in 17 seasons. Four transfers and a red-shirt freshman join the squad. Head coach Gary Edwards has directed FMU to increased win totals each of the past four seasons (9, 12, 16, 18).
The Patriot women of first-year head coach Kate Glusko also welcome back eight letterwinners (two starters) from last year’s 27-5 team that was ranked 20th and made a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Four transfers and one freshman comprise the squad’s newcomers.
Senior swingman Simel Boyd (12.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg), a pre-season honorable mention Sporting News All-American, heads the returning men, while two-time honorable mention All-American Shannon Singleton-Bates (16.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and last year’s Peach Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year Robin Colbert (8.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.3 apg, 118 steals) headline the women returnees.
The Francis Marion men will play an exhibition game at the College of Charleston on Nov. 5, before opening the regular season with four consecutive home contests: Allen University on Nov. 16, Coker College on Nov. 19, St. Andrews Presbyterian College on Nov. 20, and Morris College on Nov. 23.
The Patriot women will open their regular season at Fayetteville State University on Nov. 12 before hosting Morris on Nov. 23 and King College on Nov. 26. For the second straight year, the Patriots will also participate in the prestigious Crescent Bank Carolina’s Challenge in Myrtle Beach with FMU facing Virginia Intermont College on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m.