What A Difference A Year Makes For A&M's Kennedy As A&M Basketball Prepares For Start of Fall Practice

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COLLEGE STATION, TX -- A year ago Billy Kennedy was dealing with being diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's Disease at the same time the A&M Men's Head Basketball Coach was trying to get the foundation laid for new hoops program.

"It's a ton easier," said Kennedy on Tuesday morning. "I'm healthy, doing fine, understanding how I need to be a little more balanced in my approach and how we're going to attack this season."

Kennedy and his Aggie players will hold a Maroon/White scrimmage on Friday evening around 8:15 at Reed Arena after the Aggie volleyball team finishes their SEC match with Tennessee.

After a 14-18 season Kennedy is looking forward to putting 2011-12 in the rear view mirror and turning the page this season.

"I'm doing great," said Kennedy. "Our kids are doing great and hopefully that equates to a lot of wins this season."

A&M has two starters back off last year's team in Elston Turner and Keith Davis. Other top returners back include Ray Turner, Jordan Green, and Kourtney Roberson. The Aggies open up the exhibition schedule on November 3 at home against Incarnate Word with the time still to be decided.

Meanwhile Gary Blair and the Aggie women's basketball team will open up play on November 1st at 7pm against Oklahoma City University in an exhibition game. They'll tip off the regular season November 9th against Louisville in Kentucky.

Coach Blair has two starters returning in Kelsey Bone and Alexia Standish. Other starters back include Karla Gilbert, Adrienne Pratcher, and Kristi Bellock.

There are six newcomers that Blair will be counting on in a major way as they look to overcome the loss of Sydney Carter, Adaora Elonu, and Tyra White.

All six are true freshman: Chelsea Jennings, Jordan Jones, Curtyce Knox, Peyton Little, Countney Walker, and Courtney Williams.

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