Brigham Young University's two basketball teams gathered for genuine Kodak moments Wednesday and the Cougars' two new head coaches enjoyed a little preseason exposure during Photo Day at the Marriott Center.
In addition to coaches and players posing for official team and individual photos, the made-for-the-media event allowed the first official glimpse of new players, new uniforms and new court design.Of course, basketball itself is a new-look endeavor at BYU, with the two new coaches implementing their own philosophies, styles and systems they assume control of a pair of embattled programs.
First-year coach Steve Cleveland takes over a single-win Y. men's team from a year ago - the reins being relinquished first from the fired Roger Reid and then midseason interim replacement Tony Ingle.
"We're realistic to the challenge, the competition, some of the mountains we'll have to climb," said Cleveland, who comes in after compiling a 157-77 record during seven years at Fresno City College.
Rather than setting a goal in terms of wins, Cleveland has a much simpler objective: post-season play, starting with the Western Athletic Conference tournament.
Five lettermen return from previous seasons, including sole senior 6-foot-7 forward Justin Weidauer and 6-11 sophomore Bret Jepsen, who returned from an LDS mission this summer. Eight new players have been brought in to play this season for Cleveland.
Trent Shippen, his Cougar counterpart with the women's team, is also making his debut at BYU after three seasons of coaching at Ricks College (71-26 overall). The former Colorado State point guard from the late 1980s picks up a program left after former coach Soni Adams abruptly resigned last year.
Shippen says success and recruiting go hand-in-hand, and he and his staff are having to make up for lost time with instate recruits. "We're going to have to prove ourselves this year," he said, adding that "being successful this first year - that's the biggest thing that will help us."
All-WAC guard Kari Gallup leads a quartet of senior players for the Y. women, while 6-4 JC transfer forward Angela Burgess headlines four newcomers.
Practice officially starts Oct. 18 for both teams, with season openers in mid-November.