October 12, 2006

New Era of Men's & Women's Basketball to Begin on Friday Night

Oct. 12, 2006

GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado men's and women's basketball teams will officially kick off practice for the 2006-07 seasons on Friday night at 7 p.m., the first time allowed by the NCAA for teams to conduct full team practices.

The 2006-07 marks the first-year for Tad Boyle with the men's program and Jaime White with the women's program. It also marks the first season the programs will compete in the Big Sky Conference after previously being an independent the last three seasons.

The men's team will practice at the newly renovated Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday night. The team will also practice on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Bears will host Colorado Mines in an exhibition contest on Nov. 1 (7:05 p.m.) and kick off the regular season on Nov. 11 at Ball State (11 a.m. MT).

Boyle came to Northern Colorado after six seasons as the associate head coach at Wichita State where he helped the Shockers to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006. Boyle also spent time as an assistant coach at Jacksonville State, Tennessee and Oregon.

"We have had great workouts this fall," said Boyle. "We are excited to get on the court and do more 5-on-5 work and start preparing for the season ahead. The young players we have in our program are excited to start practicing and we know our returnees are equally as excited."

The men's team returns six players from last year's team including first-team Division I Independent selection Sean Taibi, who set the program record with 84 3-pointers in 2005-06, and second-team selection Kirk Archibeque, who led the team with 7.1 rebounds per game.

The women's team will practice from 7-9 p.m. at the Campus Recreation Center on Friday night and from 8-10 a.m. in Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion on Saturday morning. The Bears host Regis in an exhibition contest on Nov. 3 (7:05 p.m.) and begin the regular season on Nov. 11 at UMKC (1 p.m. MT).

White came to Northern Colorado after three years as an assistant coach at Wyoming. She also had previous coaching experience at Utah as an assistant coach and at Snow College as a head coach.

The women's team returns 11 players from last year's team including senior Heather Barbour, who was a Division I Independent honorable mention selection last season after averaging 11.5 points per game and hitting on 42.1 percent of her field goal attempts.

"Because this is our first year with the program we will finally be able to evaluate and see what we have to work with and what we need to work on," said White. "We are also excited to be in the newly renovated Butler-Hancock."