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Oct. 17, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The official start of the 2008-09 college basketball season began today where the South Carolina men’s basketball team kicked off its season with a practice under first-year head coach Darrin Horn at Colonial Life Arena on Friday evening. The Gamecocks will enjoy three weeks of practice prior to hosting Kentucky Wesleyan in its lone exhibition contest of the season on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

Horn was able to work with the Gamecock squad upon his arrival and throughout the summer, as the team embarked on a four-game European tour in early August. Still, the start of official practice is something that he, his staff and the 2008-09 squad had looked forward to.

“This is the best time of the year,” Horn said. “Everything is new and we’re excited and ready to go. This (the start of official practice) is something that you look forward to for a long time and we’re excited that it’s finally here.”

A season filled with new expectations, Horn now has the opportunity to work with his team on a consistent basis, rather than the NCAA mandated two hours per week during the fall. Horn commented to members of the media that the level of demand would be much higher entering the traditional season.

“The main thing we told them (the team) was that the summer is going to be more challenging, and then come back for the fall that’s going to be even more than that, and now that practice has started it’s going to be ramped up even more. I think they are going to see an even more intense version.”

Continue to check back with for updates throughout the weeks leading to the opening of the 2008-09 men’s basketball season.