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Men's basketball takes court tonight

Nov. 11, 1999

By TORIE JOHNSON

Sports Editor

The Baylor men's basketball team will finally get the opportunity to go against unseen competition tonight. The Bears officially begin their season in exhibition play against the Blue Chip America team at 7 p.m. at the Ferrell Special Events Center.

Thanks to creative scheduling, the Bears will play 11 of their first 13 games at home, and new head Coach Dave Bliss said he hopes the home stretch will help his team get some wins and confidence early in 1999.

'We have a chance to be a success,' Bliss said at the Waco Chamber of Commerce Tip-Off Luncheon. 'We have to try to be a better team as quick as we can.'

It will take the Bears a few games to get over the mental frustration of 1998. They only won six games last season and have not won a contest in the calendar year. For Baylor to be a success, Bliss believes that early victories are the only way to build that confidence.

The other way to build up the team's confidence is to bring in members who are proven winners and know what it takes to win basketball games. On that line, Bliss went after and got players he hopes will make an impact as soon as tonight. Therefore, the overall look and style of the Baylor Bears will be different.

The men in green and gold will be quicker and more athletic than teams of the past. Bliss said that although the Bears are athletic, there is much room for improvement. He added that the shooting percentage needs to come up as well as the shot selection.

'We don't have any pretense about who or what we are,' Bliss said earlier this season. 'We know that we have an uphill battle, but we are eager to get started.'