Heath, Fernandez open first practice

It may not rival the midnight madness that takes place at basketball powerhouse schools like North Carolina or Duke, but the South Florida basketball teams are doing something to launch the 2008-2009 basketball season.

Men’s coach Stan Heath and women’s coach Jose Fernandez are inviting students and fans to stop by Friday’s practice.

Friday is the first day teams are allowed to open practices for the season.

“For any coach around the country this is the most exciting time of the year,” Heath said in a press release. “We are looking forward to getting on the court and working with our returning players and so many newcomers who are important to our program.”

Fernandez said the players and coaches are looking forward to ending preseason practices and conditioning.

“Everybody is getting a little antsy and everyone is ready to get started,” he said.

Mompremier making progress
Senior linebacker Brouce Mompremier, who injured his neck in a collision with teammate Carlton Williams during USF’s football game against Florida International University on Sept. 20, is taking strides to return to action.

He was working with the first-team defense at Monday’s practice, according to the St. Petersburg Times. He was only participating in non-contact drills as he has yet to be cleared to take part in full-contact drills by USF medical staff.

Junior defensive end George Selvie and sophomore defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who suffered ankle injuries against FIU, also participated in drills, but coach Jim Leavitt did not set a timetable for their return.