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Maestri’s magic mix

On Monday at the Troy University weekly football press conference all in attendance had a change of pace, as Troy University head basketball coach Don Maestri talked about the upcoming Trojan season.

“We have an outstanding schedule this year,” Maestri said. “We open with UAB and the best guard in the country. So we are just glad that our fans get to see our team go up against such a great player and team in the first game.”

That guard is Robert Vaden.

Troy senior guard Josh Williams has high hopes about playing UAB right out of the gates.

“Playing UAB will be exciting for us,” Williams said. “I just hope we play good so our fans will see what we can do and they will come back and support us later in the season. We will go out and fight hard and play hard-nosed all night.”

Maestri also talked about his excitement about Mississippi State transfer Richard Delk getting an opportunity to play. Delk sat out the 2007-08 season because of NCAA regulations on transferring.

“Richard Delk is an experienced basketball player and he has gotten good with his left hand in practice,” Maestri said. “The bad news about that situation is that he has gotten good because he broke his right hand in practice. He is not as ready as we would like, but when he does he will be good for us.”

Maestri said Delk’s experience at Mississippi State should help the Trojans this year.

“He played in the SEC two years and he has guarded some of the best in that league,” Maestri said. “And he will hopefully be one of the best players in this conference.”

Delk is just happy to get the opportunity to start in Division I basketball.

“Being here is a great opportunity for me,” Delk said. “I want to bring good defense, a hard work ethic and some offense to Troy. We have a lot of talented, athletic guards on this team this year. We were good last year, but we are more athletic this year.”

The 2008 Trojans will be an older team than in previous years, but many of the Sun Belt competition will have experienced players back.

“We have four seniors and of our 13 players 12 are either juniors or seniors, but we do not have a lot of game experience,” Maestri said. “Having those upperclassmen will help our team and I know we will get great leadership from our seniors. But this year will will have three teams in our conference who have all five starters back.”

The Trojans fight for positions has fueled the competitive nature of the squad.

“I think we have some great chemistry because of the competitions for positions,” Maestri said. “The competition has been fierce and it will help our competitive nature this year.”

The Trojans host West Alabama Nov. 10 for an exhibition game before UAB invades Trojan arena Nov. 15 for the regular season opener.