Team preview: The Citadel

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Last season just didn't work out for The Citadel. What seemed like a potentially successful year went bad quickly.

After a 6-3 start, the Bulldogs went into a tailspin. Lack of offense and team chemistry, plus the loss of two top players, led to a mid-season 13-game skid, and when it was all over, coach Pat Dennis stepped down after recording more wins (158) than any coach in school history.

In came Ed Conroy, a former Citadel player and
assistant to Buzz Peterson at Tulsa, Tennessee and Coastal Carolina. Conroy, with three seasons of head coaching experience at Francis Marion, is uniquely qualified for The Citadel job, having been recruited there in 1985 by Les Robinson, at the time The Citadel head coach and now its athletic director.

Conroy was team captain and made Lt. Colonel in the Corps of Cadets, the highest rank achieved by a Citadel basketball player in the modern era.

"It's a special place, a unique place," he said of the military school. "It won't be easy. But I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now."

Winning consistently at most military schools isn't easy. Robinson was the school's winningest coach before Dennis came along, and both those coaches ended up with losing records.

Conroy's plan: "We'll teach like crazy, and we'll also work very hard to energize the program. We really haven't spent much time going over what they've done in the past, so we'll come in and concentrate on individual development."