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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)
COACH AND PROGRAM
The golden era of Delaware State basketball should continue into the 2006-07 season.
Last year, the Hornets won their second straight MEAC regular-season championship before getting upset by Hampton, 60-56, in the league tournament final. Thanks to the NIT changing its rules and allowing all regular-season champions into its tournament, Gregg Jackson's club had a second chance at postseason play.
They Hornets didn't disappoint. Delaware State went into Northern Arizona and shocked the Big Sky champions, 58-53, for the program's first-ever postseason victory. The Hornets then made a respectable showing before falling at Louisville, 71-54. Delaware State finished with a school-record 21 wins and dominated the regular season in the MEAC with a 16-2 mark. The league champion typically looses four to five times.
A year earlier, Delaware State won its first-ever MEAC title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where the Hornets gave top-seeded Duke all it wanted for most of the game before losing. 57-46.
This year the beat should go on. Delaware State has all five starters back and an impressive recruiting class coming into the program.
Jackson has accomplished all this by playing good defense and making every possession count. Delaware State is very patient on offense and makes every possession count.
"Our style is just like the game of life," Jackson said. "If you're disciplined and patient in life, you're going to have success. I've been able to translate the game of life to my basketball philosophy, which is to be disciplined and patient on the court. And at some point in life, you have to slow down."
Ironically, Delaware State could become a little more up-tempo this year. The Hornets have some newcomers who could enable them to play at any pace they want.
"The personnel we've had for the past three or four years has dictated that we are this way, but we'll definitely stick with our same philosophy," Jackson said. "This style has allowed us not only to win basketball games but to win most of the games we play. But I think the kids we're bringing in this year will allow us to get out in transition better and let us score some easy buckets."