Cardinals begin 100th season of hoops on Sunday

WASHINGTON – The 100th season of men's basketball at Catholic University will officially get underway on Sunday, October 17 when the Cardinals hit the court for their opening practice.  Seventh year head coach Steve Howes is anxious to get things going with a team that returns all but one player from a year ago.

"I'm really excited to see our guys back out on the floor," Howes said.  "We certainly have a lot to look forward to this season.  We return all but one player from last year's team and that is exciting because it means we have experience coming back, which will help the younger guys mature on and off the floor."

The Cardinals have been hard at work throughout the preseason, putting themselves through a strenuous few weeks of conditioning, weight training and pick-up games.  During the early portions of practice Howes will have his team focus on doing the little things well, because he knows they make a big difference come game time.

"There are so many games that are decided by two or three possessions," Howes explains.  "As Vince Lombardi once said, a game will come down to two or three plays, but I don't know which plays they'll be, so we have to play them all.  That process starts now."

He continued, "The little things that add up in only two or three possessions begins with our very first day of practice.  I'm looking forward to seeing the focus, the work ethic, the effort and the passion of our guys right from the start."

CUA will once again challenge itself with a tough non-league schedule this season before embarking on the always-tough Landmark Conference slate.

Prior to any of that however, the Cardinals will head to the Midwest where they will meet up with one of the most storied schools in the entire nation in the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  The exhibition contest is something Howes is extremely proud to be a part of.

"We're all really looking forward to our game vs. Notre Dame to kickoff the 100th season celebration. Our players are excited and our alums are excited about it." 

He continued, "The Notre Dame trip is a great way for us to honor all of the players and coaches who have come before us and laid the foundation for our program.  I am incredibly appreciative to (Notre Dame) Coach (Mike) Brey for inviting us out to South Bend and for giving us this opportunity to kick off a special season this way.  When I think of all the great coaches in CUA history, from Tom Young to Jack Bruen to Mike Lonergan, I am truly humbled that I will be the first to take on Notre Dame.  I believe it is a fitting way to say thanks to all those coaches and players who made the program what it is today."

As Howes mentioned, the Notre Dame trip will be the first of many special events that take place during the 100th season of men's basketball at Catholic University.  The Cardinals leader wants to be sure his current group of players enjoys the experience.

"It will be great for our guys all year long to receive an education in the tradition of Catholic University basketball.  While they continually hear from me about the program's tradition, they will get an up-close look at it this year with so many alums and supporters of the program coming back to celebrate the season with us."

CUA will begin the 2010-11 season on Saturday, November 6 when the Cardinals travel to South Bend, Ind. to take on the University of Notre Dame.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 from inside the Joyce Center.

The entire 2010-11 Cardinals schedule can be viewed here.

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