The Warhawk mens basketball program under second-year head coach Orlando Early will open practice on Friday, Oct. 13 at Fant-Ewing Coliseum at 7 p.m. Youth will be one of the main themes for the ULM squad entering its first season in the Sun Belt Conference. "I am excited and I cant wait to get out there and see our guys play," said Early. "The team has been going through running, lifting and individual workouts, but its a different story when you get out there and start putting in plays and defensive schemes." The 2006-07 Warhawks roster has 11 out of 12 players in either their first or second season at ULM. Only senior Darien Bynum, who will be in his third season in Monroe, has played more than two seasons. The teams youth is not without experience. Early returns sophomore standout Tony Hooper and a stout group from last years team including junior Lance Brasher that finished the season at 10-18 overall and 6-10 in the Southland Conference. "The Sun Belt is going to be a challenge for us as a team," said Hooper. "We will need to get a feel for the conference early in order to adjust to it as quick as possible. As far as my game, I think I can continue to raise it up another notch. When we have a complete team I think everyone is going to be able to play well." Early and his staff will look to a talented group of newcomers including transfers Jonas Brown, Gerard Jackson and Jordan Payne to replace three of its top scoring threats lost from last years team. Redshirt freshman Brandon Roberts from Van, Texas and true freshman Nathaniel Roché out of New Orleans, La. should compete for court time. Roberts spent all of last season on the sidelines after an injury. Sophomores David Garrison, Dalky Melendez, Drew Meyerchick, Afam Nweke all return as well is 2006. "In the next couple of weeks I want to find the best five players that can work together," said Early. "They may not be the best five individually, but that is not what I am looking for. I am looking for the best five players together for our team to be successful. Also, we want to see how fast these guys can learn and pick up something new. At this time of the year, the main concern is our cohesiveness and its continual development." The Warhawks will open the 2006-07 season with exhibition match-up against Arkansas Tech at 7 p.m. in Fant-Ewing Coliseum. ULM opens the regular season in Ames, Iowa at the American Family Insurance BTI Cyclone Challenge host by Iowa State on Nov. 10-12. Earlys squad will face Eastern Illinois, the Cyclones and UC-Riverside at the tournament. The Warhawks will play their first home contest on Nov. 25 in Fant-Ewing against Loyola (New Orleans) at 1 p.m.