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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)
COACH AND PROGRAM
For the first time in five years, the Hornets didn't improve on their win total from the previous season.
Still, fifth-year coach Jerome Jenkins has changed the course of basketball in what used to be one of the nation's worst -- if not the worst -- Division I program just less than 10 years ago. The pre-Jenkins era: An average of just 4.1 victories per season for six years. After Jenkins' arrival: 10.2 wins per season.
Qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this year is not out of the realm of possibility. With four talented starters returning -- including perhaps the league's top player -- and nine letter-winners coming back, a losing season would be a major disappointment. Getting bounced in the conference tournament's first round like last season would be equally disheartening.